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Five giant steeds to battle dnven, 

Men number'd, side by side ; 
Five mountain-tops, asunder riven, 
Tliere stand they, petrified. 
Was't fear of foeman wrouglit — or sorcerer's spell? 
Or is it but a poet's miracle ? 

C. J. C. 

The course of the Pe-kiang river, from its fountain in the hills of Kiang-si, to its foot 
at Bocca Tigris, is about 350 miles in extent ; and its banks present an endless variety 
of subjects for philosophic investigation, as well as scenery for the eye of taste. In its 
early efforts it pierces a passage between stupendous cliffs of sandrock on one side, and 
limestone on the other, which, at a little distance, seem to touch each other, forming a 
lofty arched cavern, through which the navigation has to pass. Nor in these dismal, 
deep, and dark defiles, is gloominess the only uncomfortable apprehension experienced. 
Restless from its natural formation, the limestone falls, year after year, from its lofty 
. bed in the precipitous cliff, and in such vast debris, as to obstruct the channel, and 
endanger the navigation. Should a boat strike and sink in particular places, escape 
from these awful chasms would be impossible, even for the most expert swimmers, the 
cliffs on either side being perpendicular, and the length of the passes often many miles. 
At a place called les cinq laids dialles, wrecks of luckless barges are visible above the 
surface and the surge, and give painful evidence of the reality of the perils that are to 
be encountered here. Emerging from these shadowy recesses, hills of fair and fertile 
fronts present themselves, whose pine-clad summits attract and direct the navigator's 
attention; dense coppice-wood, interspersed with the camellia, covers the lower and 
nearer summits; and, in the little glens that open on the river, are innumerable huts, 
each surrounded by a plantation of tobacco. Such is the character of the scenery that 
prevails along either bank of the infant stream of Pe-kiang, and such the peculiar fea- 
tures that distinguish it from those of the chief northern lines of river-navigation. 

Resuming its stern character, the Pe-kiang exhibits bold and sterile scenery in the 
vicinity of Chaou-choo-foo, a city of the second rank, to which six cities of the third 
order are subjected. Situated at the confluence of two navigable rivers, the Tung-ho 
(Eastern river) and See-ho (Western river), which here assume the name of Pe-kiang, 
and in a mineral district, the trade of the place is active and prosperous ; and a degree 
of animation reigns here, that imparts the highest pleasure and interest to the prospect. 
Communication between different parts of the city is maintained by means of ferry-boats 
that ply for hire, and are managed by females solely. These hardy creatures, less 
mteresting in appearance than the female character is elsewhere seen, are held in less 


respect than all others of their sex by the Chinese ; for respectable females do not 
publicly appear in China, nor partake of that liberty to which Christian women are 
unsuspectingly admitted. A second town on the opposite bank of the river is con- 
nected with Chaou-choo-foo, by a bridge of boats, the central one of which is moveable, 
to permit navigation, and to prevent the passage of strangers. 

On the opposite side of the Five Horses' Heads, from that represented in the 
accompanying view, the fronts of the hills are steep, rocky, and impending; the loftiest 
of them is ascended by steps cut in the rock, from the foot to the highest pinnacle, on 
which the fragments of an ancient edifice are discoverable. These are quite too insigni- 
ficant to command respect either from their extent, architectural character, or authentic 
historj', but are still sufficient to maintain a legend. Some thousand years ago, a bonze, 
Lu-zu by name, took up his abode on this stylitic height ; and, building a temple here, 
submitted himself to such austerities within it, as none of his order had ever been known 
to do before that period. It is of this venerable man tradition says, that he wore an ii-on 
chain around him, which so wounded and corrupted his flesh, that it became the origin 
and the food of worms. Whenever they fell off, and gave the least relief from pain, he 
immediately replaced them, saying, "that there was still something left to prey on." 
Pilgrims continue to visit the scene of this extraordinary instance of hypocrisy, or folly, 
or both; although stories of their having been robbed and ill treated by the attendant 
bonzes were long current, and much better authenticated than the history of Lu-zu, 
whose disgusting austerities are held in such admiration by the credulous. 

From the highest summit of the Ou-ma-too, an extensive, varied, and agreeable 
prospect is beheld. Much fertile lowland is seen adjoining the banks of the rivers, 
which appear like attenuated silvery lines, winding down the long-extended mountain- 
glens for many a mile, and falling into the Pe-kiang at Chaou-choo-foo. One mountain, 
San-van-hap, or the Flying Hill, more conspicuous than the rest, is believed to be the 
highest in China, and is said to derive its singular name from the ruined temple on its 
summit, which was transported by the wand of some wizard, and in a single night, from 
a province in the north to its present aerial position. 

Less picturesque than the southern range, the aspect presented in the illustration 
possesses characters that confer upon it an increased interest. Sterile, uninhabited, and 
rugged, the surface displays a remarkable variety of colour; the disintegrated sand- 
stone, of which the mountains are composed, strongly contrasting with the jet-black hue 
of the coal that here rises to the view, and is scattered over the soil in the immediate 
vicinity of the hills. This invaluable mineral abounds in China ; in the province of 
Pe-tche-le is found a species of graphite : that exposed for sale in the towns along the 
banks of the Yang-tse-kiang resembles cannel-coal ; and, in the vicinity of the Po-yang 
lake, a description having the character of bovey coal prevails. At the base of the 
Five Horses' Heads a sulphurous kind is raised, and an extensive trade is conducted 
here by means of it • The collieries are worked by adits driven into the sides of the 
mountains, not by perpendicular shafts, and the coal is conveyed in wagons to the 
entrance, and thrown from a stage or jetty directly into the hold of the junk. Perhaps 


no country in the world possesses coal in greater quantity and variety than the empire of 
China, and from the practised industry and extraordinary imitatory powers of the people, 
it is more than probable, that before many years shall roll over their history, their noble 
rivers will be navigated, like those of the North American States, by numerous and 
well-equipped steam-boats. 

In the coal district of Ou-ma-too, a manufacture of sulphate of iron, or green 
vitriol, is established. A quantity of hepatic iron pyrites, mixed with an equal amount 
of coal, both being broken into small similar-sized fragments, is accumulated into 
a pyramidal form, and coated cai-efuUy over with lime-plaster. By this process much 
heat is generated and extricated, and the heap remains untouched until the smoke has 
totally subsided. The mixture is then removed, thrown into water, and submitted to 
heat, when crystals of sulphate of iron are obtained by evaporation. 

Irrigation is one of the most favourite practices in Chinese agriculture , and the 
variety of ingenious modes for raising and distributing water, reflects much credit on 
the industrial character of the people. On the left bank of the Pe-kiang river, and 
amidst the sandy grounds that are elevated above the water-level, the sugar-cane is much 
cultivated, and a large water-wheel, erected close to the shore, is employed for the purpose 
of extensive and continual irrigation. In the construction of this primitive contrivance, 
ingenuity and frugality are most admirably combined. Two upright posts are securely 
fixed in the bed of the river, and in a plane perpendicular to the trend of the bank. 
These uprights support the axis, about ten feet in length, of a wheel consisting of two 
unequal rims, the diameter of that near the shore being eighteen inches less than that 
farther off: but both dip into the water, while the opposite segment of the wheel rises 
above the level of the bank. This double wheel is connected with the axis by eighteen 
spokes, obliquely inserted near each extremity of the axis, and crossing each other at 
two-thirds of their length. They acquire additional security by a concentric circle and 
bands that connect them with the rims ; the spokes inserted in the interior extremity of 
the axis reaching the outer rim, and those proceeding from the exterior terminus reaching 
the inner and smaller rim. Between the rims and the crossings of the spokes, is woven 
a kind of close basket-work, serving as ladle-boards or floats, which meeting successively 
the current of the stream, by their impulse turn the wheel. To both rims are attached 
small tubes or spouts of wood, with an inclination of about twenty-five degrees to the 
horizon, or to the axis of the wheel. These tubes are closed at the outer extremity, but 
open at the other. By this position, the tubes which happen during a revolution to be 
in the stream with the open ends uppermost, fill with water. As that segment of the 
wheel rises, the mouths of these tubes are then relatively depressed, and pour their 
contents into a wide trough, whence they are conducted amongst the canes as may be 

The only material employed in the construction of this piece of mechanism, wit'n 

the exception of the nave and principal uprights, is afforded by the bamboo. The rimss, 

spokes_, floats, tubes, and even the cords, are made of entire lengths or single joints, 

or large pieces, or thin slices, of that wood. Neither nails, pins, screws, nor any kina 

VOL. I. o 


of metal, enters into its construction. The cordage by which the parts are bound toge- 
ther is of slit bamboo cane. At a trifling cost of erection, and without further labour or 
any attendance, this useful machine will raise water from a considerable depth, and sup- 
ply a reservoir with a quantity adequate to the wants of a spacious cultivated area. 


Look how, grotesquely grvy, yon fane portrays 

The antic mummeries of its idol-shrine ; 
With antler'd front the shrinking heaven it frays. 

And tiouts with Cyclop stare its light benign : 
Sculpture and hieroglyph full aptly show 
How meaningless the pompous rites of Fo. 

C. J. C. 

So slight is Portuguese tenure or title at Macao, that the Chinese maintain here, in 
neighbourship with this despised race of foreigners, one of the most remarkable, most 
venerated, and really graceful buildings in the empire, dedicated to the worship of Fo. 
The architecture is njore intelligible as a design, more perfect in execution, and less gro- 
tesque, than the majority of Buddhist temples ; the situation on the water-side, amidst 
forest- trees and natural rock, is inconceivably beautiful; and the mode in which the 
architects have availed themselves of all these accessories to grace and harmony is 
highly meritorious. 

The Neang-mako, or Old Temple of the Lady, is situated about half a mile from the 
city of Macao, in a north-west direction; and the walk thither, although obstructed by 
the usual inconveniences of Chinese roads, is rendered peculiarly agreeable by the 
prospects it commands, along its whole length, of the inner port, and of the green hills of 
Lapa. From its sunk, sequestered, and shaded site, the temple is not perceived until the 
visitor comes suddenly upon the steep rocky steps that descend to the spacious esplanade 
before it. Two tall red flag-staffs, however, in front of the temple, constitute an unerring 
index to those acquainted with the locality ; being conspicuous at all hours, by the 
three golden balls that surmount them, by the square frame-work that is attached to 
them, and by the imperial. standard that adorns them. At the foot of the broad stairs are 
three great monumental stones, closely inscribed with names, titles, laudatory records, 
and other vain but pardonable mementos. Beyond these commemorative pillars, is the 
wide, open, agreeable esplanade, represented in the illustration ; on one side of which 
is part of the fa5ade of the building, on the other the estuary or inlet, into which the 
Peninsula of Macao projects. The scene in front, composed of religious votaries, 
venders of various commodities, jugglers, ballad singers, sailors, soldiers, mandarins, and 
mendicants, is common to all the sea-ports of China, and has been noticed in other pages 
of these volumes ; but the merits of the building itself are of so peculiar and so conspicu- 
ous a character, that they call for a more detailed description. It is not to grandeur or 


loftiness, that the Neang-mako owes its charms, but to multitudinous details, made out 
with a minuteness and accuracy that cannot be exceeded. There is not another 
example, most probably, in all this wide-extended empire, in which the many grotesque 
features of Chinese scenery are concentrated within so small a compass ; buildings, 
rocks, trees growing from the very stone, would appear to justify the artificial combina- 
tions that are made in their gardening, and seen in their drawings. An enclosure, 
resembling the holy ground that surrounds the ancient sanctuaries of Europe, is formed 
by means of walls connecting the rude rocks that occur in the circuit, and which are 
always religiously retained by Chinese architects and decorators. A balustrade, resting 
on this dwarf wall, is divided into compartments, enriched by tracery, and decorated with 
various representations of instruments of music, implements of art, and weapons of war. 
A contiriuous design fills one of the subdivisions ; it is a tale readily told. A child, 
seated on a quadruped of a non-descript species, is attended by venerable men, and 
followed by two females carrying umbrellas; while Satan, adorned with monstrous horns, 
is fleeing from the party in the utmost dismay. Another division is filled with a group 
representing the dedication of the temple, and the votive act in which it had its 

The design of the whole facade includes five separate structures, the central more 
lofty, the lateral gradually descending from it, and differing also in character and 
decorations. A rich cornice supports a highly-ornamented roof entirely of porcelain, 
on which rests a boat or junk, sculptured with representations of various national scenes 
and customs. Beneath the cornice are two oblong panels, enclosed in frames of a 
bright red stone, the higher containing bas-reliefs of grotesque figures, and extraordinary 
combinations ; the lower filled with apophthegms, from the writings of the great founder 
of the sect of idolaters that come hei e to worship. Beneath this latter tablet, opens a 
large circular window, the frame of which appears to have been cut, with incalculable 
labour, from a single block of stone. Pilasters, wholly covered with inscriptions, 
separate the central from the two lower divisions ; these are also adorned with porcelain 
roofs, Chinese boats, massive cornices, and indented with tablets on which admonitions 
and wise maxims are emblazoned. Each division is pierced by a square window of 
large dimensions, the carvings in which, although an extraordinary evidence of labour 
and perseverance, are neither beautiful nor intelligible. Probably the object of the 
architect who designed them, was to establish the superiority of industry, patience, and 
perseverance, over uncultivated genius. Whether he has succeeded in this expectation, 
may be reasonably doubted ; but it is morally certain, that he has left a monument of 
his art behind, which few will possess the courage, and fewer the desire, to imitate. 



Withdraw thee from yon pagan throng awhile ; 

The temple's din and bustle, both forsake ; 
And, where repose in each fair form doth smile, 

From the gaunt brotherhood thy lesson take :- 
He errs, the page of life, recluse, who cons, 
In monkish zeal — Franciscan, Dervise, Bonze. 

Many resemblances between the monastic habits of the Roman Cathohc Church 
and worship, and those of the priests of Buddha, have been observed. The mis- 
sionaries themselves acknowledged the fact ; and some of them, notwithstanding their 
unquestionable learning and philosophy, have exhibited an unbecoming weakness in 
speaking, or rather writing, on this coincidence. The arrangements of the temple of 
ISIacao may probably present a still closer resemblance to the modes of Christian conven- 
tual life, than those of temples in the interior, from the accidental circumstance of the 
presence of Roinan Catholic churches in this particular place : but, wholly independent 
of any such adventitwus aid in the argument, the analogy in costume, mode of life, 
form of worship, and other essential considerations, is so very striking, that no European 
can witness the ceremonies in a Buddhist temple, without being forcibly reminded of it. 
Here, at Macao, is an extensive collegiate or monastic establishment, the residence of 
bonzes, who observe celibacy, dress in the simple vesture depicted in our view, and 
live principally upon the bounty of the benevolent. The walls of their apartments are 
not so plain and unpretending as their garments: richly ornamented with carved-work, 
interspersed with bas-reliefs, and occasionally decorated with paintings, their homes 
present an appearance of wealth and elegance ; and, if public report were not too often 
identical with public calumny, it might be added, that the luxuries and pleasures of life 
are not excluded from the bonze's board. 

Entering by the chief porch, which is decorated in a style of grace, delicacj-, and per- 
fection, equal to that of the central building ; animals of monstrous conception, but 
cleverly executed, are placed on pedestals at either side. Escaping from this contemp- 
tible, specimen of art, the principal apartment of the temple is reached, where all those 
horrible mummeries that belong to the theory of Buddhism are performed. The high 
altar of idolatry stands precisely opposite to the great circular window, represented in the 
view of the Fa9ade ; and, when the rays of the sun flow in upon the hideous idols of the 
scene, their disgusting shapes, their imperfect structure, and their senseless nature, are so 
ridiculously displayed, that it is difficult to say whether their votaries are more entitled 
to pity or contempt. Besides the multitude of idols, as varied in size and material as in 
form and attitude, the articles that surround the spectator are intinite; and few who 
come here to pray can find leisure for the purpose, attention being diverted by the 
objects that present themselves at every point of space in this cabinet of curiosities. 


The walls are decorated like those of our military armories, with halberds, swords, 
matchlocks, drums, tom-toms, and other ensigns of power, or conquest, or submission ; 
lanterns of different patterns, and sizes, and colours, are suspended from the roof, besides 
festoons or garlands of many-coloured ribands, united by metal clasps. Bonzes are 
continually in attendance upon the worshippers; and one of their duties, a duty however 
in which they have a direct pecuniary interest, is that of selling little slips of red paper, 
inscribed with moral maxims, or forms of prayer, or the objects of some petition which 
the votary desires to present to his tutelar god. This traffic is constant and profitable, 
and yields a handsome revenue to the college. On the high altar, tapers of sandal-woc^ 
are always burning; to these the supplicant approaches, lights his red paper, then 
laying it at the feet of his favourite idol, accompanies its combustion with suitable 
entreaties for assistance or protection. A door, generally standing open, and around 
which a number of idle bonzes are collected, discloses a long corridor leading to the 
banqueting hall and cells; strangers, however, are but jealously admitted even to peep 
within these precincts. 

At the opposite side of the temple from that by which the visiter enters, a staircase 
leads down to a second esplanade, more limited in extent, but equally pleasing in all its 
accompaniments. In the semicircular area before the chief fa5ade, a broad paved 
terrace, close to the margin of the waves, is enclosed by a stone parapet, profusely 
sculptured, and on which are graven moral maxims and sentences, extracted from the 
Book of Fate, or other foolish fictions. Amidst the rocks that rise abruptly, and with a 
peculiarly picturesque effect, above the water, a small chapel is intruded, containing an 
image of Buddha, over which a large paper lantern is suspended. Beside this tiny 
temple, is a second building, witb a porcelain roof, something of an Italian cornice and 
decoration, but having a spacious circular opening in front, that occupies the principal 
part of the whole elevation. On a rock immediately opposite the window, stands a 
pedestal, with a recipient vessel, for the offerings of the humane and zealous amongst 
the visiters. Whether the expectation associated with the little hexagonal pedestal may 
extend its influence to any portion of the faithful, it is difficult to decide; but certainly 
the number that visit tiiis secluded and romantic part of the temple is considerably 
smaller than is constantly to be seen in the principal cella of the building. 

This fact is the more remarkable, because the scenery around the little chapel is highly 
picturesque, and of that mixed and contrasted character that pleases particularly in 
China. The terrace has been gained from the sea, the site of the temple from the ledge 
of rock, and the intermixture of the beauties of nature with the works of art is as close 
and complete as a Chinese artist could desire. Yet hour succeeds to hour, in this 
sequestered spot, and neither the tread of a footstep, nor the sound of a voice, falls on 
the ear of the miserable bonze, who sits within view of the place of tribute, and 
presents a taper to the devotee to light his dedicatory red paper at, which he comes to 
offer in the adjoining chapel. 




Cease, western islander, nor rudely call 

Barbarian, yonder gentle family. 
What boasts tliy proud saloon, or board, or wall. 

Which lacketh here — of true civility ? 
Hast thou outstript? Be modest. — Such as these 
Were China's sons, when ye were savages. 

C.J. C. 

The interior of a Mandarin's House affords a more satisfactory idea of the mode of 
living prevalent in the Chinese empire, than any other scene that could be selected from 
the drama of their history. Less partial to external decoration and magnificence in pub- 
lic architecture than the ancient Greeks and Romans, the internal arrangements of their 
dwellings appear to be precisely analogous; and, an examination of the exhumed houses 
of Pompeii, will abundantly demonstrate this remarkable and not uninteresting fact. 
That the Celestials did not import their notions of domestic architecture from Rome 
maybe unhesitatingly admitted; whence it follows, that we have existing, in all its 
primitive truthfulness, the same description of dwelling, and probably nearly similar 
habits of life, which we regard with so much curiosity and wonder in the crumbling 
fragments of the buried city. In describing subsequent illustrations, more immediately 
representing the architectural design, the ichnographic plan, and the various parts that 
compose a mandarin's palace, the identity of Roman with Chinese domestic architecture 
shall be more fully detailed. One extract, however, from the description of a private 
house at Pompeii, ma)', with much propriety, be here introduced. "Tliose apartments 
that were devoted exclusively to private accommodation, included the dining and bed- 
rooms, picture-gallery, library, baths, and portico, in which flowers and shrubs were 
ranged along. On the walls of the private rooms, various designs are painted ; sometimes 
basso-relievos are the chief decoration, in which, however, a very morbid taste is 
generally exhibited; but the floors are inlaid with elaborate and often beautiful mosaic 
work; yet these costly ornaments can scarcely compensate for the absence of many 
domestic comforts which moderns enjoy. No glass, save in the villa of Diomede, has. 
been discovered at Pompeii; and no fire-places adorn their apartments, or contribute to 
their ventilation. The roof of the house was generally a terrace protected by a wall ; 
and the women's apartments looked towards the garden, a custom still observed in the 

In China, as in ancient Itah', the apartments appropriated exclusively to the accom- 
modation of the family, are numerous, but limited in dimensions— generally of a square 
form, situated in the most remote part of the house from the chief door of entrance, or 
rather front porch, and guarded most jealously from intrusion. The approaches to them 


from the state-room?, from the great court, from the vestibule, are aluaj's long, narrow, 
dark, and intricate, found with difficulty by persons unacquainted with the establish- 
ment ; and, although the material of which the whole edifice, with its corridors, wings, 
and pavilions is composed, is of the most fragile character, and the walls that enclose it 
easily scaled by those who were resolved upon plunder or admission ; yet such is the 
force of prejudice, habit, and established confidence in the efficient administration of law, 
that these childish contrivances appear to afford ample imagined security. 

The illustration represents a boudoir or inner room, where the mandarin, his lady, a 
nurse and child, are assembled, and paying the most deliberate attention to the character 
which an itinerant merchant is giving of his goods. In Persia, Hirdoo, and other 
Oriental countries, where luxury is habitual, even the most wealthy recline on carpets 
spread on the floor, or on couches laid close to the wall all around the room ; but in 
China, chairs, tables, and sofas, resembling those in universal use throughout Europe, 
are employed ; nor has it been ascertained that any other Asiatics have adopted this 
article of furniture. Tlie chair in which the matron is seated is supposed to be of 
bamboo, the seat, sides, and drapery of which are generally of silk, and richly embroi- 
dered by the ladies of the family. Beside her, in all the accustomed dignity of manner 
that characterizes his coinitry and his rank, is the wealthy master of the house, who has 
•ust risen from his chair that stands nearest to the window, a more convenient position for 
one occupied in the disgusting amusement of smoking. But, however unfashionable 
and excluded from polite life this practice may be in England, its prevalence in China 
is so widely spread, as to render its introduction into the drawing-room perfectly 
allowable ; and iiispadores are placed in every room, to save the floor from the conse- 
quences of those oral clearances tliat are necessary during this indulgence. Although 
the lady is so intent upon purchasing, no devotion to fashion or alteration in the manner 
of dress actuates her ; for, here fashion has not yet effected a conquest, the only 
variations that are made in female costume being those which change of seasons impe- 
ratively demand. The costume of a lady of rank generally consists of vests of taffeta 
under a silk netting, within doors, to which is added a long robe of embroidered satin as 
the external garment. Every shade of colour is chosen, according to the taste of the 
individual ; and the decorations, as well as disposition of jewels and other ornaments, 
are dependent altogether upon fancy. Yet one system seems to prevail in society, so 
that the description of the costume of an individual will apply with truth to all. The 
utmost care is bestowed on ornamenting the head; the hair, after being smoothed with 
oil and closely twisted, is brought to the crown of the head, and there fastened with 
bodkins of gold or silver ; across the forehead is a band or fillet, from which depends, 
something in the manner of a Mary-Queen-of-Scots' cap, a peak of velvet, decoratpd 
with a diamond or pearl, and artificial flowers are sometimes fancifully arranged on each 
side of the face. In full dress, during visits, or the reception of visiters, earrings are 
worn ; and a string of perfumed beads suspended from the shoulder, also forms a portion 
of the full-dress ornaments. Cosmetics, or rather their uses, are perfectly understood 
amongst ladies of rank, who endeavour to make their eyebrows appear long, narrow. 


black, and arched ; they use both red and white paint profuselj', and generally place a 
very decided red spot on the lower lip. 

That the maid shall not be mistaken for the mistress by those whose intercourse 
with society may have been limited or profitless, she is obliged to wear on the wrist, as 
a badge of distinction, a lutenag or ring of brass ; and her little charge, the hope of the 
family, is rendered ridiculous by two queues, which are encouraged to grow from each 
side of the head. 

Amongst itinerant traders, the value of exactly balancing their loads is very fully 
appreciated ; and it is often the case, that when the burden cannot be divided, a 
stone is placed in the empty pail, box, or basket The pedlar has carried both his 
chests into the room, one of which he has opened, and is displaying its contents; the 
counterpoise stands immediately behind him, together with the bamboo rod, and cords, 
from which both are suspended. A servant approaches with tea, or some other 
refreshment, which he is about to present to the pedlar, unbounded hospitality being 
a leading feature in every true picture of Chinese life and habits. 

Besides the gracefulness of the oval opening, encircled by a carved frame or cornice, 
it possesses an advantage that must not pass unnoticed — it is the only window of the 
apartment. Like the Romans, the Chinese do not employ glass in their windows ; the 
former used a transpiwent stone called lapis specularis, capable of being split into thin 
plates, and this was introduced into the palaces of the most wealthy or luxurious-only. 
What species of stone this was, we are left to conjecture; but, that stone suitable for 
such purposes is known and employed in the present age, those are familiar with who have 
seen the mica, (talc, glimmer,) or Muscovy glass, which the Russians first used in the 
windows of their men-of-war, because it withstood the shock of artillery better than the 
best glass was capable of doing. The same substitutes for glass, however, have been 
adopted by the Chinese ; namely, horn, pearl-shell, linen-cloth, silk-gauze, oiled-paper, 
to which they have added bamboo blinds. 

On one side of the room, just behind the nurse and child, are cabinets, or chiifoneers, 
in English, " What-nots," the shelves of which are occupied by dishes of fruits, little jars 
of perfumed woods, tapers, and other articles of luxury, recreation, or necessity. These 
stands maybe formed either of Japan lacquered-ware, of bamboo varnished, or of hard 
wood, carved after the mo.-t complicated patterns, like the rich pillars that support the 
ceiling. On the left, and just beside the oval opening, is a splendid massive stand of 
hard wood, with a marble top, that forms the ground of a piece of shell work, or 
rock-work, representing the villa of a prince or mandarin, in Tartary, or Keang-nan, 
or some other mountainous and romantic part of the empire. Jars constitute a favourite 
ornament in every house, and from their beauty and costliness are now duly admitted 
into all English drawing-rooms. The partiality for these beautiful objects of manufac- 
ture is traceable to the circumstance of their having first been placed in Buddhist and 
other temples, and thereby associated with the religion of the countiy. 

No article of fundi ure, or object of manufacture, seems to have acquired greater 
popularity amongst the Chinese than the lantern ; the bamboo would appear to be 


indispensable to their existence, the lantern to their happiness. No apartment is 
furnished without an assortment of these articles. A large, splendid, costly lantern, 
adorned with silk curtains and tassels of the richest quality and most gorgeous colours, 
hangs from the roof; while from other parts, as well as from branches that project from 
the wall, minor luminaries contribute their aid in discharging the twofold duty of 
ornaments by day, and fountains of light by night. In ability to illuminate, the lantern 
is very inferior either to the glittering old chandelier of England's palmy days, or to the 
bright flame of the gas-lamp; and the smoke that escapes from it is more intolerable 
than the odour of the tobacco with which the whole mansion is infected at evening-time. 
Mr. AUom, whose knowledge of Chinese architecture is only exceeded by his ability in 
delineating it, has chosen to represent the floor of the " Apartment ia a Mandarin's 
House " as tiled ; this is frequently the case, and it renders the apartment peculiarly 
brilliant; but bricks are also very extensively employed for flooring, over which bamboo 
mats are spread, to hide the deformity and to guard against cold. 


\Vhat, eat poor pussy ! Eat my pet. 
So soft and gentle, sleek and warm ? 
• Go, gorge truss'd mice ; I'll not regret : 

Tasted differ ; and — the breed may swarm. 
"' Cat" may eat rarely in a stew or pie : 
Let mine purr pleasure, — I've no wish to try. 

C.J. C 

Twelve miles from Peking, and at the point where the Pei-ho ceases to be navigable by 
junks or boats of burden, is situated Tong-chow-foo, a city of the second rank. It is sur- 
rounded by brick walls upwards of sixty feet in height, and possesses a dense population, 
apparently in a state of poverty, although, from the place being the port of Peking, an 
active trade is conducted. Hither the produce and manufacture of the southern pro- 
vinces, as well as any foreign importations that elude the vigilance of Imperial illiberahty 
at the sea-ports, are carried, and landed, and hence conveyed to the capital. In Enghsh 
history, the name of this populous, bustling, yet impoverished place, occurs ; for it was 
here that Duke Ho, and President Muh, had that memorable interview with Lord 
Amherst, in which they explained to his excellency the nature and necessity of those 
genuflexions and prostrations which he would be called upon to make when presented to 
the emperor. It may possibly form a subject of regret that our ambassador returned 
without having accomplished any of the objects of his expensive mission ; and it is known 
that Napoleon ridiculed his fastidiousness ; but, judging from subsequent experience of 

VOL. I. Q 


Chinese character, it is more than probable that, had his lordship yielded a single point, 
where the honour and dignity of his country and sovereign were concerned, as " increase 
of appetite grows by what it feeds on," the Chinese would have grown more insolent in 
their demands, and he would have left, with the additional chagrin of having paid 
homage, in the name of his royal master, to a Tartar potentate. Napoleon was not an 
emperor when he smiled at the squeamishness of the British ambassador ; when the 
imperial diadem enwrapped his brow, he would not have suifered his representative to 
make an obeisance so humiliating, and in the name of France, before any monarch in 
the civilized world. 

A sufficient supply of wholesome food seems to be the influencing power, the spring 
of action, the end of industry, in every part of our globe; and the difference in the 
degrees of avidity with which mankind pursue it, is regulated by the degree of civiliza- 
tion and intelligence to which they have attained. It does not follow, that the acquisition 
of food is an object of less anxious attention in the educated countries of Europe, 
because they subdue the coarser appetites of our nature, and publicly exalt intellectual 
pursuits and refinements. Such nations have the same natural wants as their Eastern 
fellow-creatures; but, the very refinement which conceals them is also an auxiliary to 
the acquisition of a regular and satisfying supply. In China the voracity of the people 
obtrudes itself contijiually ; every object of industry or occupation seems to have 
such a tendency to the appeasing of appetite, that it becomes rather a disgusting con- 
templation. The rich and elevated are decided epicures ; the middle and lower classes 
as decided sensualists. The tastes of the one are scarcely limited by the extent of their 
revenues, the voracity of the other unrestricted by the most nauseous species of food. 
Being the most omnivorous people in the world, there is not an animal or plant that can be 
procured by art and industry, and eaten without risk of life, that is not pressed into the 
service by these gastronomers : the flesh of wild horses is highly prized, the larvae of the 
sphinx-moth, bears' paws, and the feet of other animals brought from Tartary, Cambodia, 
and Siam, are deemed delicious ; and edible birds'-nests are esteemed at the banquets 
of the mandarins, for which they are occasionally made into a soup.* In the market of 
Tong-chow, to which the stewards of the noble families of Peking repair to purchase 
viands for their lords, " it is a good diversion to see the butchers, when they are carrying 
dogs' flesh to any place, or when they are leading five or six dogs to the slaughter-house : 
for, all the dogs in the street, drawn together by the cries of those going to be killed, or 
the smell of those already dead, fall upon the butchers, who are obliged to go always 
armed with a long staff, or great whip, to defend themselves from their attack, as also to 
keep their doors close shut, that they may exercise their trade in safety.'' The salesmen 
enter the market-place, or step from their junks upon shore, having baskets suspended 
at the extremities of a carrying-pole, in which are contained dogs, cats, rats, or birds, 
either tame or wild, generally alive — sea-slugs, and grubs found in the sugar-cane. The 
species of dog most hi request is a small spaniel ; the poor animals appear particularly 

• Soup made of mare's milk aiid duck's blood was served up at a bauquet-given to Lord Amherst. 


dejected in their imprisonment, not even looking up in the hope of freedom ; whilst 
the cats, on the contrary, maintain an incessant squalling, and seem never to despair of 
escaping from a fate which otherwise must prove inevitable. To a foreigner, Christian 
or Turk, the sight is sufficiently trying, both regarding the dog as amongst the most 
faithful of inferior animals, and the cat as one of the most useful. In the ancient 
Chinese writings, cats are spoken of as a delicacy at table; but the species alluded to 
was found wild in Tartary, and brought thence into China, where they were regularly 
fed for the markets of the principal cities. As far as appearance is concerned, rats, 
when butchered, for they are not brought to market alive, are by no means disgusting. 
They are neatly prepared, slit down the breast, and hung in rows from the carrying- 
poles by skewers passed through their distended hind-legs. 

In the immediate vicinity of the wharfs, or horses' heads, the accustomed name for 
landing-places or jetties amongst the Chinese, at Tong-ehow, are stalls where refresh- 
ments are sold to the boatmen and loungers ; tea, however, is the universal beverage ; 
and the vender, standing beneath a canopy of sail-cloth, made of the fibre of the bam- 
boo, and supported by bamboo canes, invites all passers-by to taste the favourite 
refreshment. Cups, much inferior in capacity to those in general use amongst us, 
' are laid with regularity along a marble counter, at the end of which stands a stove and 
boiler, where the tea is prepared and kept warm. The scene around presents an extra- 
ordinary instance of the universal application of the bamboo. Beside the tarpaulin 
supporters, table-frame, and trellis-work of the tea-vender's shop, the conical baskets 
in which the cats are brought to market, the pole from which they are suspended, the 
broad-leafed hat of the cat-merchant, the walking-stick of the buyer, the masts, sails, 
ropes, of the trading junks which lie close to the shore, as well as the frame-work and 
sail-cloths that sustain and form an awning, are all obtained or manufactured from this 
invaluable cane. 

Tastes less fastidious would probably not repudiate the wild birds, eagles, storks, 
hawks, and owls, which are amongst the rarities arrayed by poulterers ; although they 
are excluded from all European markets, with perhaps little reflection upon the grounds 
of that exclusion. But the popular fowl in China is the duck, in the rearing of which Chi- 
nese perseverance and animal instinct are conspicuous. In every province, the peasantry 
are familiar with the mode of hatching eggs by heat, either in an oven or a manure-heap. 
When the ducklings are able to be removed, they are put into boats, and carried away to 
the nearest mud bank or heap where shell-fish feed. Arrived at the scene of action, the 
conductor strikes on a gong, or blows a whistle, upon which signal his flock instantly 
paddle away to the feeding-ground, and commence a search for everything digestible. On 
the repetition of the signal, they paddle back again to their respective conveyances unerr- 
ingly, although one hundred boats, and so many flocks, might be on the feeding-ground at 
the same time. As the flock approaches, the conductor places a broad plank against 
the boat's side for the young waddlers to ascend ; and the scene that takes place when 
the crowd reaches the plank is both interesting and ludicrous. It forms part of the 
coiuluctor's duty to chastise the loiterers, but reward the most docile and active ; this he 


does by giving the foremost of those that return some paddy, but the last a few taps of 
a bamboo; when, therefore, they reach the inclined plane, the efforts of all are 
redoubled, and the older and stronger actually waddle over the backs of the juniors into 
the boat, influenced evidently by a sense of rewards and punishments. This mode of 
feeding, however, is little calculated to produce fat or tender food; and when the 
ducks are dried, they present the appearance of skin strained over an anatomical prepa- 
tion of that aquatic bird. "A man hawking about the streets of a town," says Mr. Lay, 
" with a bundle of dried ducks at his back, might be taken as a characteristic of the 
Chinese nation. The blood of the domestic fowl is spilled upon the ground, but that 
of the duck is preserved in a small vessel, that it may be moulded into a cake by the 
process of coagulation ; it is then put into water, to displace a portion of the colour, and 
to enhance its good qualities. We see then that the Chinese are discriminating, even in 
the use of that inhibited article, blood : ' For blood, with the flesh thereof, which is the 
life thereof, ye shall not eat." 


" Your argosies with portly sail, 

Like signiors and rich hurghers of the flood, 
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea, — 
Do overpeer the petty traffickers. 
That curt'sy to them, do them reverence." 


Before the complete establishment of British naval and military superiority over the 
Chinese, the channel of Whanipoa was known only as the roadstead where foreign 
vessels, trading to Canton, were obliged to drop their anchors. In the passage up 
from Bocca Tigris, two bars are crossed ; the second, near to the entrance — the first, 
immediately eastward of a group of islands, the principal of which are named by 
Europeans, French, Dane's, and Whampoa. Some little freedom of intercourse was 
formerly permitted, and the crews were suffered to land, and enjoy the pleasures of 
society, provided they scrupulously respected the pi'ejudices of the natives. Besides, of 
this cluster of islets, there was one generously conceded to foreigners as a burial-ground, 
upon payment, however, of exorbitant fees. The gratification of a natural curiosity, 
which induced merchants and mariners to land here, was frequently dearly bought ; the 
insolence of the younger members of the native community to strangers being insup- 
portable, while the elder branches only awaited opportunity to plunder and ill-treat 
them. It has been pleaded that the English, American, as well as the sailors of other 
western countries, when allowed to go ashore on these islands, indulged too copiously in 
draughts of seaou-tdux^ aii ardent spirit distilled from a mixture of rice and other 


grain ; and, losing all self-control, were guilty of acts of violence — that they entered 
the temples, ridiculed the popular faith, and broke the hideous monsters to which the 
Chinese bend the knee. This charge may be based on fact, and parallel instances may 
be adduced from the accounts of voyagers, but the invincible prejudices of the Chinese 
to strangers, from immemorial time, can hardly have originated in events of compara- 
tively recent occurrence. 

French Island, westward of Dane's Island, forms the side scene of the illustration; 
it is one vast cemeterj-, divided impartially between the foreigner and the native, and 
occupied with the humble, low-lying tablet that records the early fall of the one, far 
from the place of his birth, as well as with the pompous, semicircular mausoleum which 
distinguishes, by its sweep and architecture, the rank and wealth of the other, whose 
pride lies humbled beneath it. To the left of the view is seen the entrance to the Tay- 
wang-kow passage. Junk river, which bounds Whampoa island, and separates it from 
Junk island. 

The picturesque prospect which Whampoa and its encircling islets presents, has 
been the theatre of many military events. Placed in the very centre of the highway to 
Canton, from which it is but ten miles distant, it should be fortified with all the science 
of the age, and at any cost that such security might be attended with ; but the autho- 
rities, relying too confidently upon the fortresses at Chuenpee, Tycocktow, Bocca Tigris, 
and Tiger island, have injudiciously neglected the more available position. When the 
Modeste, a British frigate, was directed, during the late Chinese war, to pass Whampoa 
towards Canton, and subsequently the Sulphur was placed under similar orders, the 
opposition given by the batterj at Howqua's Folly at the north-west extremity of 
Whampoa island, and by Fort Napier, which is directly opposite, was so contemptible 
that it is merely mentioned but not dwelt upon in the despatches. Howqua's Folly, 
built after Admiral Drury's expedition, is a quadrangular structure, entirely of hewn 
granite, and mounting eight-and-twenty guns. It is called from its founder, who is 
supposed to have been converted into a patriot either by " a squeeze," or by a desire to 
escape the imperial wrath. The derivation of " Napier's Fort," will probably present 
itself more immediately, from the recollection that it was to this precise anchorage his 
lordship ordered up two sail-of-the-line, when the Canton authorities doubted his cre- 
dentials. Between these two forts, stakes were driven into the river-bed ; and old junks 
were sunk, to obstruct the passage of the British ; but the employment of war-steamers 
in the British navy since the previous visit of our ships to Whampoa, had escaped the 
knowledge of the Chinese, and gave to all their childish contrivances an appearance of 
extravagant folly. 

The feeling of security that has hitherto accompanied the possession of Whampoa, 
induced the government to erect here several substantial stores for the reception of 
rice. This necessary of life is laid up at the expense of the emperor in the event of 
scarcity, when it is sold at little or no profit to the poor. Should an abundant harvest 
reduce the price of grain, then the custodees of the public granaries are empowered to 

VOL. I. R 


purchase largelj' ; if a less plentiful season occur, to sell at a moderate loss ; and if an 
absolute famine happen, then the granaries are thrown open to the poor. 

On a mound adjacent to the town, and near the western end of the island, the 
Whampoa pagoda rises to a height of one hundred and seventy feet; beyond the Junk 
river on the right, and on the point of Junk island, is another, inferior in gracefulness 
and height ; and on the further bank of the Tay-wang-kow passage, a beautiful, light, 
and tapering temple stands conspicuously prominent. Canton-i-each extends from 
Whampoa and French islands in a western direction, and is enclosed on the north by 
a range of lofty and rugged hills that form a delightful drooping distance. 


" Alas I that Vice's brand should stamp the stage — 
Life's picture, and reiiuscitated page ! 
There might our nnschool'd crowds delighted stand, 
Each acted lesson view, and understano. 
Some read to learn ; to listen some prefer; 
^To teach beholders rose the theatre." C.J. C. 

" There is one city in the metropolitan province of Petche-le, that has a greater trade, 
is much more populous, and richer than most others, though it is not of the first order, 
and has no jurisdiction ; it is called Tien-tching-ouei ; and since the map was made, it is 
placed in the rank of icheou, or cities of the second order. It is situated at the place 
where the imperial canal which comes from Lin-tchin-tcheou joins to the river of Peking. 
A great mandarin resides here, and is a principal of the ofBcers who preside over the 
salt-works along the sea-coast of the provinces of Pe-tche-le and Chan-tong ; all the 
vessels which bring timber from East Tartary, after they have crossed the bay of Leaou- 
tong, come to unload in this port, which is but twenty leagues from Peking." 

Such is the pithy account of the Citta Celeste of Marco Polo left us by the Jesuits, 
who surveyed every locality of the empire with a penetration never exceeded by any 
European traveller; and, although their topographical description is insufficient to satisfy 
modem inquiry, it includes the principal points that then deserved attention at this city, 
while the stationary condition of the Chinese people ever since, renders it as applicable • 
to-day as when it was originally written. 

The conflux of the rivers Pei-ho and Eu-ho, the former opening a communication 
with the capital, eighty miles distant, and with the sea, iifty miles ; the latter, by means 
of the imperial canal, with all the southern provinces, conferred an early commercial 
importance upon Tien-sin. There is a bar at the entrance of the river, and the depth 
of water above the but imperfectly known to foreigners; so that sailing-vessels, 
or ships of large burden, should not venture up without a native pilot ; but from their 
light draught, and facility of direct and retrograde movements, steamers may navigate 


its whole course with safety. His imperial majesty, Taoii-kwang, (Reason's Glory,) is 
probably still ignorant of the bold enterprise at one time meditated against his capital 
by the captain of a British man-of-war cruising off the mouth of the Pei-ho — 

" Had the Chinese turned restive," writes Lord Jocelyn, "eight hours would have taken the steamer and 
corvette, filled wth seamen, marines, and field-pieces, to the town of Tien-sin, at the head of the great canal, 
the depot of all their northern trade and supplies. Their fleet of junks being then burnt, an event which would 
have crippled their means of sending reinforcements to the mouth of the river, and the town being set on fiie, 
nearly within sight of the imperial city, must have caused a panic and distress that would have shaken the empire 
to its very base. They seemed to be aware that this was feasible, and dreaded it themselves." 

In the most busy and populous commercial towns, where labour appears only to be 
suspended from an apprehension of exhausting the physical powers of the labourer, the 
greatest variety of public shows and entertainments, the largest number of coffee-houses, 
restaurateurs, assembly-rooms, and theatres, are always found; a sufficient evidence, that 
in such localities they receive the largest share of patronage. This remark applies 
with more than common appropriateness to Tien-sin, which has long been celebrated 
as the chief place of trade in the province, as well as for its everlasting scenes of recre- 
ation and gaiety. 

Many Europeans have visited this Chinese Liverpool; and the courtesies which 
commercial intercourse engenders, have here procured for them a more liberal reception, 
and a less restrained sojourn, than they must have met with in other parts of China. 
Buildings, wharfs, manufactorses, warehouses, and dockyards, extend along the banks of 
the Pei-ho, for upwards of two miles and a half; and the surface of the water, during 
all that length, is so closely covered with junks, that a narrow passage-way only is 
reserved by the river-police. 

The multitudes that crowd the decks of this countless fleet, are not devoted wholly 
to navigation; they include whole families, who lead a sort of amphibious life — "every 
shore to them is foreign, and the earth an element on which they venture but occasion- 
ally." Twice have our embassies passed and repassed this great emporium ; and the 
description of the spectacle which it presented on these occasions is calculated to give 
a very imposing idea of Chinese enterprise, wealth, discipline, and civihzation. During 
one of these transits, the pageant was witnessed by such a multitude as, even in China, 
was rarely seen. The decks of the vessels were completely occupied, numbers stood in 
the shallow water between them and the shore, while a dense and continuous crowd lined 
the sloping banks from the houses to the water's edge. The gradual descent of the 
ground on each side gave the spectacle the appearance of some vast amphitheatre. The 
enormous diameter of the umbrageous hat rendering it a perfect nuisance, on an occa- 
sion where heads were jammed as closely as if they were screwed together, the array of 
so many thousand bare bald pates so situated, and exposed to the influence of a meri- 
dian sun, when the thermometer stood at ninety, must have been truly astonishing. 
Alongthe banks of the river, large bags of salt are generally piled up in a conical form, 
and covered carefully with matting. During the passing of the ambassadorial proces- 
sion, these heaps of salt were also tenanted, presenting the appearance of so many 


pyramids of heads.* In all the ardour of curiosity which evidently existed on this 
public demonstration, it was remarkable that no disturbance occurred ; a sense of mutual 
accommodation pervaded the multitudinous assembly, nor were police or military per- 
mitted to appear, or mingle with the crowd. 

It was while the state-barges lay moored before the viceroy's palace, that a tempo- 
rary theatre was erected on the quay, with a fanciful orchestra behind it, in which 
a dramatic entertainment, after the national manner, was represented, for the gratification 
of the embassy. The exterior of the building was decorated with a variety of brilliant 
and lively colours, by the proper distribution, as well as contrast of which, the Chinese 
are able to produce the most pleasing effects. The front was left completely open 
towards the river, and the interior adorned with the same elegance and success. 
The performance was continued without interruption during a whole day, pantomime and 
historic dramas taking alternate possession of the boards. Strict attention was paid to 
costume, the actors being uniformly habited in the ancient dresses of the age in which 
the personages represented were supposed to have lived. A kind of recitative supplied 
the place of dialogue, accompanied by a variety of musical instruments, in which the 
gong, kettle-drum, and trumpet were conspicuous, each pause being filled up by a loud 
crash, such as our "brass bands" sometimes introduce. Every actor announced on his 
first entrance the parfhe was about to perform, ^ — where the scene was laid, and other 
explanatory circumstances ; but this precaution is only observed when the audience are 
foreigners, or imperfectly acquainted with the language of China. 


How should the wit of Chinaman conceive 
The thunder of Old England's oaken war' 

His puny flutt'nng fleet may deftly thieve ; 
His nautic empire raise or sink a Bar : 

Our Line he never saw — how then believe ? — 
Nor heard of Nelson, or of Trafalgar. 

H WING much confidence in "sound and fury," the Chinese calculated upon exciting 
terror by noise and high-sounding epithets, and reverence by those of the most extra- 
vagant pretensions. Their emperor is styled Teaou-kwang, or Reason's Glory ; and 
dragon, serpent and tiger, are terms of frequent application, where strength, power, or 
punishment is implied. The costume of the Tartar soldier is made to resemble the 

* A calculation was made by Mr. Barrow of the quantity of salt contained in the pyramids of bags standing 
on the quays of Tien-sin when he passed by them, and it was found to be sufficient for the consumption of thirty 
millions of people for one whole year. A considerable revenue is derived from thg gabeUe, or salt-duty, and the 
situation of collector at tbi" place is one of the most lucrative appointments in the imperial gift. 


skin of the spotted tiger , heads of the same fierce and active animal are represented 
on their shields, as well as on the embrasures of the batteries. The most famous 
fortress in all China is that on Tiger Island ; and the narrow opening in the Canton 
river, which is protected by an amazing number of cannon, is designated Bocca Tigris. 
or the Tiger's Mouth. 

The o-reat estuary of the Canton river, which, near to where tlie Factories stood, 
assumes the name of Chou-keang, or the Pearl river, is contracted between the forts of 
Chuenpee or Shakok and Tycocktow (Great Rising Head,) into a channel of about 
two miles in width. From the former of these points, the coast trends eastward, 
embracing the shallows known as Anson's Bay, to the batteries of Anunghoy (Woman's 
Shoe,) just three miles from Chuenpee. Above Tycocktow are two rocky islets, South 
and North Wantong, between which and Anunghoy, rather less than two miles' dis- 
tance, is the celebrated throat of " Tiger's Mouth ;"* and about two miles farther up 
the river, is situated Tiger Island, or Ty-hoo-tow. Anunghoy batteries have always been 
strongly garrisoned, and, before the last war, mounted one hundred and forty pieces of 
ordnance ; the batteries of North Wantong, immediately opposite to them, mounted one 
hundred and sixty-five. Between the islet of South Wantong and the new fort of 
Anunghoy, a boom, consisting of powerful iron chains, partially sustained by wooden 
rafts, was raised at sunset. At this fort vessels were required to produce their permits ; 
and those that happened to arrive in the Bocca after the boom was raised, were under the 
necessity of continuing outside until daylight. These forts were undoubtedly constructed 
more with a view of terrifying merchantmen, and extorting tribute, than with an expec- 
tation of obstructing an armed force : and Keshen, in his memorable defence, lays this 
fact before his imperial master. Whether, however, the commissioner's statement was 
advanced in mitigation of punishment for his faults, or whether he spoke the historic 
truth, the forts of Bocca Tigris have not been able to check the British sailor, for the 
passage has been repeatedly forced by our vessels. When Lord Napier, the British 
Commissioner- General at Canton, became apprehensive of insult, he ordered the 
Andromache and Imogene to pass Bocca Tigris, and ascend the river to Whampoa. 
This achievement was performed with little difficulty, the discharge of a few broadsides 
having completely silenced the enemy's fire, without any material injury to the works : 
these were spared, to add still further glory to the British arms at no distant period. 

In the commencement of the year 1841, our envoy, disgusted by the faithless- 
ness or fickleness of Chinese functionaries, directed the resumption of hostilities; and, 
in consequence of this determination, Commodore Sir J. G. Bremer was directed to 
take and destroy the forts of Anunghoy and Wantong, and force the passage of the 
Bogue. With a fleet of twelve sail-of-the-line and four steamers, even a less gallant 
officer would have felt little apprehension for the result ; but the style in which these 
orders were executed, has justly associated the commodore's name with those of our 
naval heroes. The forts on North Wantong were cannonaded by the Calliope and 

* Bocca Tijjiis, or The Hoo-moon, or the Bogue. 


Samarang, while a battery of howitzers, established on the South island, a position most 
unaccountably neglected by the Chinese, opened their fire simultaneously.* The quick- 
ness and precision of English gunners soon overpowered the brave eiforts of the enemy ; 
in a few minutes they were seen flying from their post, and a landing was effected 
without opposition. The scene of inhumanity that followed will always remain a sub- 
ject of much regret to our brave officers. In endeavouring to escape from the works, 
the Chinese had fallen into the trenches, which were literally filled with them, and in that 
helpless condition they implored for mercy. In vain did our generous officers menace, 
command, entreat the sepoys to spare the prostrate foe ; either from a settled hatred of 
the nation, or ignorance of the language in which the orders were given, they continued 
to fire without mercy upon these unresisting and defenceless masses of human beings. 
While this dreadful tragedy was being enacted, Sir H. Le Fleming Senhouse had been 
equally successful in his attack upon Anunghoy ; and by the united exertions of these 
divisions of the expedition, the Bogue forts were captured and destroyed, the charm of 
their invincibility dissolved, British superiority in the art of war demonstrated, and the 
foundation laid for those concessions liy China, which it was then supposed would ter- 
minate in a sincere alliance of esteem and friendship between the conquerors and the 
conquered. Unhappily, the deceitful and faithless character of the Chinese people has 
prevented them from <leriviug those advantages which would certainly have accrued 
had they carried out, in a good spirit, the terms of the treaty entered into on the eon- 
elusion of the opium war. 

A considerable change has taken place in the trade of China by our enjoyment of 
an asylum at Hong-kong; and the dependencies of Canton have been interfered with 
by the opening of other ports. At Whampoa a number of chops, or lighters, formerly 
found employment in conveying the cargoes of large vessels to Canton ; and there, also, 
a chop-house, where tolls were exacted, had a permanent establishment. Sugar and 
rice are the staple products of Whampoa island, and of the tract that bounds the 
estuary of the Chou-keaug. Mr. Abed, who visited the sugar manufactories here, gives 
the following account of the primitive machineiy employed in them : — " The simplicity 
and cheapness of the works were highly characteristic of Chinese taste and policy. 
The mill which expresses the liquor from the cane, was composed of three vertical 
cylinders, made of a coarse granite with wooden cogs. The coppers, as boilers are 
termed in other sugar-growing countries of less primitive predilections, were made of 
cast iron, which they have the art of reducing almost to the texture of common paper, 
and of welding, when cracked or broken, with entire facility and firmness. These were 
arranged triangularly, and with little apparent regard to those principles of granulation 
which are elsewhere adopted. That nothing might reduce the quantum of manual 
labour, where hands and mouths are so numerous, and wages so low, the mill was 

* Tliis battery was under the dii-cction of Captain (now Colonel) Knowles, of the Royal Artillery, who, 
during the heavy fire that was kept up on his position, loaned with his elbow on the sand-bags of his field-work, 
directing his men to fire a little higher or lower, as he perceived the shells to take effect. — Commodore Biugliam'ii 
Narrative of the Expedition to China. 


placed below the level of the boilers, and the liquor carried in tubs from one to the 
other. As it attained its consistence in each of these vessels, instead of being passed 
through a strainer to the next, it was transferred by hand to another part of the 
building, whence, after the process of distillation, it was returned to its appropriate 


Rice to sell ! Who lacks good cheer ? 
Would you our rice, sir grenadier 1 
A bowl were well after parade ; 
Come, and enjoy it, in the shade. 

See how it smokes — so spiced and sweet ! 

Will you, fair dame, my savoury treat ? 

Yon little master likes it well. 

Season'd and smoking — Rice to seU ! C.J. C. 

Such scenes as this party of rice-eaters presents are frequently witnessed by travellers, 
more particularly along the line of the Imperial canal, on which Tong-chang-foo is situated. 
The military station rendering a "halt for the payment of gahclle necessary, the trackers 
seize the opportunity to rest and refresh themselves. A guard of military-police being 
paraded, during the settlement of tribute by the task-master or slave-driver, the trackers 
seat themselves beneath an immense umbrella supported by a bamboo pillar, and are 
supplied by the landlady of this very primitive and very picturesque hospitium, with 
bowls, chopsticks, and all other requisites for the occasion. Assembled round an earthen 
stove, at which the rice-meal, mixed with vegetables and fried in rancid oil or animal ofFal, 
is dressed, and disengaging themselves from their cumbrous bamboo hats, some also 
twisting the pienza, or long queue, round their heads, they raise the bowl to the edge of 
the lower lip, against which they press it closely, and, with the chopsticks throw in their 
food expeditiously, conveniently, and with an astonishing degree of cleanliness. In China, 
as well as in Western Europe, the pipe forms a necessary part of the labourer's personal 
property; and, from the great length of this instrument amongst Orientals, when 
inserted in the pocket a very considerable portion always protrudes. As stations .may 
not occur at those intervals of time or space best suited to the tracker's relief, it is his 
judicious practice to carry a supply of meal in a pouch suspended at his side, along 
with a hard wooden spatula, such as the hostess of the great umbrella is employing, 
besides his accustomed chopsticks. On the ground, and close by the figure in the 
act of placing the chopsticks in his mouth, lie several flat boards with cords passed 


through them ; these are the harness, or gear, which the tracker applies to his hreast. 
to save it from the effects of too great pressure, in his slavish occupation. 

It is very erroneously stated, that owing to the predominance of agricultural propen- 
sities, the paucity of pasture and meadow land, and the preference for rice to all other 
species of diet, animal food has been necessarily declined ; pigs and sheep being the 
only species of quadrupeds slaughtered and eaten. That black cattle are not kept for 
the shambles, is solely attributable to the abhorrence of a Buddhist to slaying oxen ; 
the antiquity of this religion, therefore, sufficiently accounts for the equally ancient 
preference for vegetable diet amongst the followers of Fo. Against the use of pork, on 
the other hand, an equally strong prejudice exists amongst the Mohammedan section of 
the people ; and the predominance of that faith under the descendants of Kublai Khan 
and the Mongol dynasty, which strictly prohibits the use of pork, discouraged the feed- 
ing of swine as an article for food or sale. It is to their religious prejudices, therefore, 
that the encouragement of vegetable diet, and the adoption of all those alternations 
and substitutes for animal food so remarkable in Chinese living, should with propriety 
be attributed. Mohammedanism, however, under the Tartar dynasty, has gradually 
declined ; toleration has hastened its fall, accompanied, at the same time, by the legis- 
lative wisdom of not extending to its followers any especial protection or preference. 

Africulture having obtained a dominion so extensive, and of such very ancient foun- 
dation, no animals that require to " range the valley, free," are to be seen in a district 
capable of tillage ; and indeed the cultivation of rice has now become a national preju- 
dice too deeply rooted to be ever eradicated from the land. Mr. Gutzlaff, the author of 
the interesting memoir of the Emperor Kang-he, which accompanies these descrijjtions, 
relates an anecdote in one of his voyages, very happily illustrative of this point. " Rice 
being very cheap in Siam, every Chinese sailor provided a bag or two as a present for 
his family. In fact, the chief thing they wish and work for is rice; their domestic 
accounts are entirely regulated by the quantity of rice consumed ; their meals, according 
to the number of bowls of it boiled ; and their exertions, according to the quantity 
wanted. Every substitute for this favourite food is considered meagre, and indicative 
of the greatest wretchedness. Wiien they cannot obtain a sufficient quantity to satisfy 
their appetites, they supply the deficiency with an equal weight of water. Inquiring 
whether the Western barbarians eat rice, and finding me slow to give them an answer, 
they exclaimed, ' Oh ! the sterile regions of barbarians, which produce not the neces- 
saries of life ! Strange that the inhabitants have not long ago died of hunger ! 
I endeavoured to ehow them that we had substitutes for rice which were equal if not 
superior to it ; but all to no purpose ; and they still maintain that it is rice only which 
can properly sustain the life of a human being." 

It was at this busy town that the childish military feat of the lanterns was performed, 
which Mr. Barrow relates in his account of the return of the embassy from Yuen-min- 
yuen. "As we apjiroached the city of Tong-chang-foo, we were much amused with 
a military manoeuvre, which was evidently intended to astonish us. Under the walls of 
the city, about three hundred soldiers were drawn out in a line, which, however, the 


darkness of the night had rendered invisible. But just as we were coming to anchor, 
each soldier, at the sound of a gong, produced from under his cloak a splendid lantern, 
with which he went through a regular manual exercise." 

In the suburbs of the town, cultivation is conducted with particular skilfulness ; 
and a species of tobacco is grown here, the leaves of which are small, hairy, and viscous, 
and the flowers of a greenish yellow passing into a faint rose-colour at the edge of the 
petals. Hemp is produced here also, in small quantities; but is more generally used 
to mix with tobacco, than in the manufacture of cloth from its fibres. 


How nature slept o'er yon sequester'd scene, 

In knoll, and glassy wave, and woodland green I 

Man's self, in kinder than his wonted guise, 

There bade the patriarchal village rise. 

Now, marshaird forms of war the hill-top crest. 

And soldier's tramp and clarion start its sylvan rest. 

The Chusan Islands, several hundred in number, lie almost due east of Take-tow pro- 
montory, in the province of Che'-keang, and appear to have once formed a part of th« 
neighbouring continent. The direction of the prevalent wind, and the strength with which 
the tides set in upon this part of the coast, have, in the course of ages, washed away all 
alluvial matter, and left only the rocky pillars, now so many pyramidal islands, standing 
in the waters. The currents between the islands are at this day so violent, that naviga- 
tion is highly dangerous ; and the Chusanese alone, who are familiarly acquainted with 
them, are able to take advantage of these straits as highways for commerce. Chusan 
isles are all of primitive structure, being composed of red and grey granite ; they present 
a very unequal surface, the summits often attaining a height of fifteen hundred feet 
above sea-level ; yet there is not a square mile on any island of the group unsubdued 
by cultivation. 

Chow-shan (Boat-mountain) the largest of the archipelago, and whose name is 
shared by the multitude of minor isles that surround it, is fifty miles in circum- 
ference, twenty in length, having a maximum breadth of ten, and minimum .of 
six ; it forms a keen, or district, the seat of government of which is at Ting-hai, and is 
subject to the foo, or prefecture, of Ning-po. Approaching from the sea, the pros- 
pect is remarkably beautiful : the hills rise steeply and in conical shapes, all decked 
in a vapiety of colours, while deep ravines are observed running far inland, but closed 
at the sea-entrance by high embankments, in whi -h tide-gates are inserted. The 

VOL. I. T 


interior prospect of the island is not less pleasing ; lofty hills separate, overlook, and 
shelter deep fertile vales, where rice, cotton, barley, Indian-corn, sugar-cane, tobacco- 
plant, peach and plum-trees, lend their varieties, and the tea-plant, dwarf-oak, arbutus, 
their colours, to adorn the lower grounds, the summits everywhere being clothed with 
the brightest green. Clumps of luxuriant trees, and picturesque temples, embellish 
the conspicuous heights, whose interest is much increased by tombs, with plantations of 
fragrant shrubs around them. The introspect of these dark ravines observed on 
approaching the island from the sea, discloses alluvial plains of various extent, occupied 
by paddy-fields, interspersed with patches of brinjal, maize, and beans. Navigable 
canals, intersecting these reclaimed flats, are supplied by the waters that descend from 
the mountains, as well as by an influx from the ocean, the latter, however, regulated by 
sluices. There are no rivers of any magnitude in the island, but mountain-streams are 
numerous, and their waters are gathered with care into reservoirs, which are cautiously 
preserved from impurity. At Irgao-shan, where the Twenty-sixth regiment of infantry 
were encamped for some time, after the capture of Ting-hai by the British in the late 
war, is one of those much-valued pools, surrounded by the various buildings of a farm- 
house, which, in China, resemble petty villages ; for, as the married sons never withdraw 
from parental government, the buildings that are added, age after age, for their accom- 
modation, together with the requisite granaries, fruit-houses, and halls of ancestors, pre- 
sent a formidable assemblage. There is yet another purpose to which the out-buildings 
of Chinese farms are devoted. Although the population of this circumscribed area 
amounts to 200,000 souls, such is the fertility of the soil, that more rice, considerably, 
is grown than consumed: from this overplus, sham-shoo is distilled very generally by the 
farmers, both for domestic use and exportation ; and many of the minor buildings, that 
give importance to the view of the homestead, are nothing more than these rural 

The detachment of the Twenty-sixth, which Lieutenant White has introduced into 
his sketch, as marching in amongst the farm-buildings, is supposed to be returning to 
their encampment on the summit of Irgao-shan ; and, on the slippery bank above them, 
a zigzag pathway amongst beds of sweet potatoes may be observed. This footway, broad 
enough to admit three persons to walk abreast, like all others that traverse the island, is 
paved with huge squared blocks of stone, sometimes cut into regular steps ; and along 
such narrow causeways even the heaviest burdens are transported from place to place 
by men exclusively, wheel-carriages not being in use amongst the Chinese. 

Although the habits of the islanders are similar to those of the empire generally, 
a peculiarity in performing the sad rites of sepulture, which Lord Joeelyn observed, 
most probably does not exist elsewhere. "The natives of this island," writes his lord- 
ship, " do not inter their dead as in the southern provinces, but the corpse is placed on 
the ground in a wooden coffin, covered with a lid, easily removed, highly polished, round 
which the wild flowerS and creepers blossom. In most of the houses we entered on the 
island, these large boxes were the first objects that met the eye in the entrance:chamber. 
In the tenanted graves which curiosity induced us to open, the. body appeared dressed 


as in life, the pipe and tobacco lay on the breast, and loaves and rice at the unconscious 

Irgao-shan, and the scene represented in the accompanying illustration, although no 
architectural remains are visible in the vicinity, are supposed to be identical with Ung- 
shan, at the foot of which stood Ung-chow, a city of the third rank, founded about the 
year 720 of our era, in the reign of Heuen-Tsung, of the Tang dynasty. 


The walls grew weak : and fast and hot 
Against them pour'd the ceaseless shot, 
With unabating fury sent 
From battery to battlement. 


Chusan is not less distinguished by the beauty of its position and productions, than by 
its memorable connection with the historyofthe opium war between England and the 
Chinese. Its harbour presents a panorama not exceeded by any analogous prospect in 
the world ; and the security from weather, and safety of anchorage, are also perfect: 
Its superficial area extends about three miles in length by one in breadth, so that per- 
haps not more than one hundred .sail of the line could float here conveniently, and the 
utmost caution must be used in entering, from the strong currents that prevail every- 
where between the islands, and the eddies formed at their meetings. The advantage 
of its commercial position was fully estimated by the inhabitants at all periods, for it is 
known that a large and flourishing city of the third rank existed here in the second 
century before the Christian era, which, after several changes of name, (the last to 
Ting-hai,) was destroyed in the wars between the Tartars and Chinese in the reign of 
Shum-che, the first emperor of the Ta-tsing dynasty, but rebuilt by his successor Kang- 
he in 1684. Accurate geographers place the present city in latitude 30° 0' '20" north, 
and longitude 122° 5' 18" east. The East India company maintained an extensive 
factory here from the year 1700 to 1737; and when Lord Macartney visited the island 
in 1793, an interpreter who had been attached to that establishment was still living. 

The port or dock of Ting-hai, called Chusan harbour, is seated on the water's edge ; 
the city, of which it forms the advanced work, lying inland rather more than a mile. 
One of the creeks, described in speaking of Irgao-shan, here runs up for some miles 
between the hills; and across its sea entrance, an embankment two miles in extent, with 
tide- gates and sluices, being placed, the whole reclaimed area aflbrds a rich tract 
of paddy ground, intersected by navigable canals, besides a well-sheltered site for a 
populous city. Ting-hai does not stand upon this marshy land, but on the sloping side 


of the Yung-tung valley ; it is surrounded by a brick wall twenty-six feet in height, 
sixteen in thickness, and six miles in circuit, with four entrance-gates corresponding 
exactly to the cardinal points. On three sides it is protected by a canal or ditch 
twenty-five yards broad, the fourth side being covered by a fortified hill. Slight 
bridges are thrown over the canal at the four gates, cut into steps like the famous 
Rialto of Venice, and from this trifling coincidence, in conjunction with the additional 
fact of the city being intersected by canals, travellers, of more ready wit than discerning 
judgment, have ventured to compai-e Ting-hai with the city that is " throned on her 
hundred isles." The streets are narrow and paved, having a public sewer along the 
middle, from which nuisance, in addition to many other objectionable practices amongst 
the Chinese, they are passed by Europeans with feelings not far removed from disgust. 
Being the most eastern city in the empire, it has been thought prudent to strengthen it in 
proportion against the " barbarian over the sea ; " and with this object three arsenals, 
two powder magazines, and other military establishmetits, have been placed here. 
There are also several public institutions, mandarins' residences, a Government pawn- 
broking ofiice, numerous theatres, and many Buddhist temples, some of them acknow- 
ledged to be the most gorgeous and wealthy in China. Including Chusan harbour, 
Ting-hai has a population of 30,000 souls. 

Twice, during the^ protracted hostilities between Great Britain and China, did this 
rich and beautiful position fall before the courage and military skill of the former; 
"and the morning of the 3th of July, 1840, was the day fated for Her Majesty's flag to 
wave over the most beautiful island appertaining to the Celestial empire, the first 
European banner that has floated over the flowery land." A few words, however, will 
be sufficient to describe this easy conquest. At half-past two o'clock the Wellesley 
fired the first gun, which was answered by a whole line of war junks, the ordnance 
along the causeway, and on battery hill ; our vessels immediately poured in their broad- 
sides, and in nine minutes Chusan's docks, forts, and buildings were a heap of smoking 
ruins. Our troops landed on a deserted beach, amidst a few dead bodies, broken spears, 
swords, shields, and matchlocks, and moved cautiously on Ting-hai, before the strong 
ramparts of which they sat down for the remainder of that day. On the following morn- 
ing scaling-ladders were placed against the walls, orders to mount issued, and, " in a few 
minutes," this great city was in the possession of the invaders. This may be deemed an 
inglorious triumph, and military men may regret that the British had not met an enemy 
worthy of their prowess; but every feeling heart must unite in rejoicing at that insignifi- 
cance of resistance which occasioned the less loss of life. On the first of October in the 
following year, our fleet again returned to Chusan, to chastise the wretched inhabitants of 
that island for the duplicity and falsehood of their government. Headed by the gallant 
Keo, and fully expecting an attack, the Chinese oft'ered a stout resistance; but the hero 
and his brave staff were slain, tremendous havoc made amongst his followers, and the 
tragic scene that now -presented itself far exceeded the desolation that attended the first 
capture of Ting-hai. The total inequality between the contending parties, even 
when Keo, a man of resolution and ability, gave an example, worthy of the highest 


honour to his soldiers, may be judged of from the ratio of killed and wounded. On one 
side numbers fell; while on the other, the British, "the loss amounted to two killed and 
twenty-eight wounded." 


Of all appeals — no 

Method's more sure at moments to take hold 
Of the best feelings of mankind, which grow 

More tender, as we every day behold. 
Than that all softening, overpowering knell. 
The tocsin of the soul — the dinner bell. 


Maijdarin's houses are generally more like cabinets of interesting works of art than 
the frequented homes of stirring and prudent men, — men who have raised themselves 
to a position of public respect by their intellectual superiority, and who are supposed 
to retain that rank by their conspicuous virtues. Certainly the vanity displayed in 
their palaces is much at variance with those high qualities for which alone they are 
believed to be promoted. The furniture of the dinner parlour, as well as of all the 
other apartments in a mandarin's mansion, is of a costly and beautiful description, and 
the walls and ceiling are always decorated with fretwork, carved designs in hard woods, 
and brilliantly coloured paper-hangings. On occasions of conviviality, the table, a 
broad slab supported by a richly carved frame, is spread with various ornaments : china 
jars in which flowers and fragrant perfumes are placed, generally stand on plateaux of 
glass, porcelain, or silver, in tne centre, a space being reserved all round for the bowls 
of the respective guests. Chairs, articles so little used in Asia, form part of the 
furniture of every house, and in those of men of rank are adorned with embroiderea 
silk and velvet cushions and draperies. The host assumes his place at the head of the 
table, his chair being raised a little higher than those of his guests, who take their 
seats on either side, as amongst the civilized nations of Europe. 

Such entertainments are encumbered with ceremony ; the master of the feast drinks 
to his company, and they to him in turn ; he even eats to them, and his every movement 
is noticed, respected, and has influence upon the immediate part which each visitor 
performs. Refusal of an invitation is unpardonable unless in case of sickness, or the 
demands of public duty, and under such circumstances the absentee's portion is sent 
to his house with a pomp that is utterly ludicrous. Amongst the Romans there was 
a custom something like to this,— each guest brought a napkin in his pocket to the 
banquet, into which he put the fragments of his share of the feast, and sent them home 
by his attending slave. A dinner in China consists of a number of made dishes, not 

VOL. I. T-' 


placed at once upon the table, but served up in succession, in porcelain bowls carried in 
on trays. The ceremony commences by the host standing up and pledging his friends, 
which they as courteously return. Custards and preserved fruits are then served by a 
number of attendants ; after follow, in several courses, soups either of mare's milk and 
blood, or vermicelli, or of birds' nests, which is both insipid and gelatinous, or a much 
superior kind, consisting of an extract of beef seasoned with soy ; the next course may 
be supposed to include basins of stewed sharks' fins, birds' nests, deer sinews, and other 
dishes believed to be peculiarly nutritious ; and this is often succeeded by different kinds 
of meat minced into small pieces and floating in gravy ; amongst the latter varieties are 
included fowls split open and grilled, others stewed, fowls' livers floating in oil, eggs 
with their embryo chickens, and puppies' flesh. The pastry, which is supplied in 
abundance, is made from buckwheat, is uncommonly light, and white as snow. Fruits 
are always iced ; and this luxury, in the vicinity of Peking, is within the reach of the 
poorest mechanic. The wine is of a light kind, having the flavour of sherry ; it is made 
from rice, and is served in an earthen kettle, whence it is poured, by a servant bending 
on one knee, into little porcelain cups, and drank warm. Porcelain spoons are also in 
use, and four-pronged silver forks were laid at those banquets to which our envoys -and 
officers have occasionally been invited, but chopsticks are the prevailing, popular 
instruments for the trassport of every Chinaman's food, both solid and liquid, from his 
saucer to his palate. 

During the banquet, a deputy from a company of comedians placed at one end of 
the apartment, presents a catalogue of those dramatic pieces which his associates are pre- 
pared to exhibit; but, no matter which may be selected, the din, clatter, jingle, and 
sibilous noise that is kept up during the performance, would render their early retirement 
an object most anxiously desired by a foreigner. The intellectual part of the exhibi- 
tion is generally succeeded by tumbling, jumping, vaulting, and various feats of jug- 
gling, strength, and activity : in all which the actors exhibit powers very superior to their 
dramatic efforts, and such as would undoubtedly excite applause in any assembly where 
such spectacles are admitted. 



In the midst a fountain 

Playeth day and night 
Each small wave a mirror 

For the changing light. 

A Chinese villa is an assemblage of buildings of various dimensions and designs, 
brought together without any apparent method, but displaying a fruitful imagination 
and an exhaustless fancy. The exterior parts are of that gloomy mural character, which 
prevails in all those countries where the softer sex are held in a mild but degrading 
imprisonment, by both parents and husbands; but within, the aspect at least, breathes 
pleasure and tranquillity. Although no regular order of art is discoverable in Cliinese 
architecture, an analysis of its parts and comparison of examples will lead immediately 
to the detection of much system, and explain the necessity for what may appear super- 
fluous. Having no idea of balancing materials according to those mathematical principles 
on which our great stone arches and sublime cathedrals are constructed, and con- 
tinuing most preposterously to lay the roofing-beams in a position at right angles to that 
adopted by our builders, they do not venture to form a roof of great span or dimen- 
sions. Since then he cannot hate a broad roof, the Chinaman is content with a house 
in proportion ; and if he possesses wealth enough to maintain a large establishment, instead 
of one great mansion, he causes many small buildings to be erected within the space 
enclosed for the seclusion and enjoyment of his family. The necessary narrowness also 
of their roofs leaves no alternative, when a spacious apartment is required, but the intro- 
duction of pillars, hence the endless repetition of this feature in their houses. A veranda 
is sustained by pillars, behind which rises the main building, generally one story in 
height; but, when the grounds are so spacious that a second or third story may be raised, 
without affording the females of the family an opportunity of seeing or being seen, the 
addition is oft-times made. In the southern provinces, where the original of the accom- 
panying view exists, the veranda is requisite for shade ; the front of each apartment is 
open, save the intervention of a lattice-work gilt and brightly painted ; and even in 
the upper rooms, the door is the only medium of light and air. The pillars which 
sustain the roof of every apartment are of pine wood, sometimes carved, more frequently 
plain but painted, and the rafters are covered with glazed tiles, of a concave form, and 
laid like roofing tiles in England; the bright blue colour of the bricks in the walls is 
relieved by scrolling and seaming of white paint, with an excellent effect. Whether 
Europeans view the Chinese roof as a beauty or deformity, it is upon this part of the 
building the architect expends his best abilities. The gables are grotesquely adorned 


with scroll-work and gilded dragons ; nor is his license limited, unless by the variety of 
patterns which the flowers of the field, the birds of the air, and the beasts of the forest 
include. But the genius of the artist must extend beyond mere architectural decoration ; 
he must also be able to introduce within the villa an artificial lake, adorn its banks with 
rock-work and pleasure-grounds, and associate the wildest productions of untamed nature 
with the most gorgeous creations of art. Bridges, canals, fountains, grottos, rocks worn 
or wrought into the most extravagant forms, and either insulated in the water or starting 
from the flower-beds, are the usual objects with which villa pleasure-grounds are 
decorated ; and the fancy that is displayed in their disposition, to foreigners must 
necessarily appear most admirable, and is amazingly difficult of successful imitation. " For 
rural retreats," writes Mr. Lay, " I should delight to see the Chinese style adopted ; 
since, with our crystal canals and our noble plantations, we should have a cluster of 
abodes that would appear as if they had been fitted up for wood-nymphs, and beings of 
a difl^erent day. But, a builder, in order to be qualified for such a work, must have 
travelled in China, and, by an instinctive enthusiasm, have imbibed Chinese feeling, 
otherwise he would not catch that freedom and that unbounded playfulness so conspi- 
cuous in all their edifices of any cost or extent." 



" He knows his fault, he feels, he views, 
Detesting what he most pursues ; 
His judgment tells him, all his gains, 
For fleeting joys, are lasting pains." The Gasiester. 

In every country vice has established a dominion of greater or less extent, which the 
most polished manners and most moral laws have not been able to subdue. Of this 
truth, London and Paris, chief cities of the world, present a melancholy evidence. It 
is even remarkable, that gambling, the most detestable of all demoralizing habits, is 
claimed, in those great capitals, as a privilege of the aristocracy, while in China it is con- 
fined almost entirely to plebeian society. How many fortunes are annually dissi 
pated on the race-course, in the cock-pit, or at Lhe club-house ; how many ancient and 
wealthy families reduced, by such prodigality, to the lot of humble life, accompanied by 
the pain that fallen fortune generally inflicts ! The many suicides that are committed in 
the city of Paris have their origin in a propensity for gambling ; and the few noble 
families in monarchical England, whose wealth is disproportioned to their rank, owe 
their degradation to the same vicious practice. Laws discourage, but do not denounce 
this sin ; the timidity of legislators has hitherto operated in protecting such a mis- 
chievous exercise of liberty. 

Gaming amongst the Chinese is analogous to the coarse species of chances and 
swindling, practised at Our country fairs, and on every race-course, with this difference 
only, that cards are there in more general requisition. The athletic bargemen on the Pearl 
river, devote every hour, that can be stolen from work, to the recreation of gambling ; 
and, the weary trader, emancipated from temporary slavery, buries all his sorrows in' the 
excitmeut which this vile propensity awakes. Children partake of this national weakness 
in some degree, or rather the vicious habits of society create an appetite in the youth- 
ful mind. A fruit-vender disposes of his goods by a sort of lottery, or game of hazard ; 
supplied with a box and dice, he presents them to his customer, who stakes the price 
against the selected fruits. The first throw is the buyer's privilege, and the winner, of 
course, takes up both fruit and money. Raffling is also a favourite mode of barter; 
provisions of every description are disposed of in this way, and so insensibly does vice 
obtain the mastery, that wives, or children, are sometimes the last stake played for 
between these habitual gamblers. 

Dominoes, dice, and cards constitute the chief instruments of this hateful trade ; and 
chess is also generally known. Their cards are seldom more than three inches in length 
by one in breadth, and marked with red and black colours as our own. The suspense, 
and the consumption of time, inseparable from a long-contested game of chess, in which, 
after all, the victory is a triumph of memory rather than discernment, have occasioned 
its postponement to most others ; but, such are the industry and perseverance of 
the Chinese, that when they do prefer it, they are admirable players. 

VOL. I. X 


" Hunt-the-slipper,'' a sport with which the rising generation of Old England are 
familiar, is probably a mere version of the Chinese " Hand-the-flower." While the 
bouquet is in rapid transit from hand to hand, a continued roll is kept up on a drum in 
an adjoining room; whoever happens to have the bouquet at the moment when the roll 
ceases, drinks an extra cup of wine, or pays for a cup " all round." But of all the games 
in use amongst the humbler classes in China, the Tsoi-moi is the most popular : " Two 
persons, sitting directly opposite to each other, raise their hands at the same moment, 
when each calls out the number he guesses to be the sum of the fingers expanded by 
himself and his adversary. The closed hand or fist is none— the thumb, one— the thumb 
and forefinger, two — and so on ; the chances lying between and 5, as each must know the 
number held out by himself." This is the amusement to which Cicero alludes in his 
Offices, and which his commentator Melancthon thus describes, " Those who play at 
micare digitis, stretch out, with great quickness, as many fingers of one hand each, 
as they please, and at the same instant both guess how many are held up by the 
two together; he who guesses right wins the game. To have a sharp sight is necessary, 
and great confidence when it is played in the dark." This very game still prevails 
amongst the Romans, by whom it is called 3Iora, and the Transteverini, a low people 
who dwell on the further bank of the Tiber, are amazingly addicted to it. 

There are other shorts and gambling practices, common to most civilized nations, 
which are to be added to those already noticed; they include cock-fighting, a favourite 
amusement of the Mandarins, and which was probably imported from the country of the 
Malays ; quail and cricket fighting, — all equally cruel and unmanly. Training is a 
profession which gives occupation to numbers, and the interest taken in these unworthy 
sports is so universal and exciting, that the gamester alone would credit their true 
history. The birds are furnished with steel spurs, as our game-cocks in the pit, and 
the' contest, therefore, seldom fails to prove fatal to one or both. The victor is put up 
for sale, or raffle, and the eagerness to become his master is demonstrated by the 
enormous sums staked, or paid down, for him. The inquiries of the Chinese after other 
pugnacious animals, have extended into the insect kingdom, where they have discovered 
a species of grillus, or locust, or cricket, whose quarrelsome propensities confer upon it 
an unhappy notoriety. Two of these diminutive victims are placed in a bowl or 
a sieve, and submitted to the irritation of a straw applied by the owner; driven to 
madness, they attack each other with indescribable fury, producing the highest degree 
of mirth to the spectator, and of interest to the gamesters who preside at the table. 
Would that their civilization had taught them to remember — 

— The poor beetle, that we tread upon, 
In corporal sufferance feels a pang as greai 
As when a giant dies. 



" Now still brighter hopes arise, 
Over life's enlarging day, 
Science, commerce, enterprise. 
Point to man his glorious way." 

About twelve miles from the archipelago of Chusaii, and on the left ba ik of the Ta-hea, 
or Kin river, stands the walled city of Ning-po, which Europeans formerly called Liam-po. 
It is the fourth city of the province of Tche-kiang, is itself of the first order, having 
four of the third under its jurisdiction, and enjoys the advantage of a good roadstead. 
Seated at the confluence of two rivers, the Ta-hea and Yao, its position is both agree- 
able and convenient ; and the trade between this port and Japan has always been of an 
active character. A very level plain surrounds the site of Ning-po, extending to 
a distance of many miles on every side, and confined ultimately to the form of a vast 
oval basin, by lofty mountains, that rise abruptly and terminate the view. Many towns 
speckle the smooth surface of these fertile fields, on which also vast numbers of cattle are 
fed, and luxuriant crops of rice, cotton, and pulse are raised. Nowhere in China is irri- 
gation more advantageously or more skilfully adopted, than in the rich plain of Ning-po, 
the waters that descend from the encircling mountains being directed into sixty-six 
canals, all which, after contributing their services to the duty of fertilizing, discharge 
their surplus into a main trunk that communicates with the Ta-hea. The amphitheatre 
of hills, the luxuriant vegetation of the well-watered plain, the occurrence of so many 
comfortable-looking towns, the brilliant sky, the wholesome and salubrious climate, and 
the great variety of trees, combine in the formation of a picture whose character is 
the most happy and agreeable. " The scenery about Ning-po," writes commander 
Bingham, " formed the prettiest landscape we had seen in China." 

Its walls, extending rather more than five miles, are entirely of granite ; and 
five gates afford admission within them. There are also two water-gates, these are 
mere arches in the walls, through which canals pass, each being protected by a 
portcullis. The public buildings are mean, and few in number, trade having for 
ages so completely absorbed the attention of the citizens, that the fine arts fell into 
oblivion. One lofty pagoda of brick, is the sole architectural boast of the place ; and 
a bridge of boats over the Ta-hea, constructed about three centuries back, still retains 
its position. The streets are rather broader than those of Canton, and the shops better 
furnished, especially with japan-ware ; but their width suffers an apparent diminution 
from the pent-houses which project beyond the shop-fronts. In the early years of the 
last century the English were permitted to trade here ; but the intrigues of the Portu- 
guese and Russians, combined with the bigotry of the Chinese, deprived them of that 
valuable privilege, and restricted their merchants to the ports of Canton and Macao. 



To this advantage, however, our commerce is restored by the treaty signed after the 
conclusion of the opium war ; and Ning-po for many years has participated more largely 
in foreign trade, exchanging her silks, cottons, teas, and lacquered-ware, for the woollens 
and hai-dware of England, than any other of the free ports of the empii-c. 

Upon the visit of Mr. Lindsay, in the ship Amherst, he found the irnhabitants 
inclined to renew their friendly intercourse with the Ta-ying Kwo-jin (Englishmen), 
whom they had been taught by their government to designate as hak-kwae (black- 
demons) and hung-moon (red-bristles), and by other insulting and detracting epithets. 
The mandarins, however, had no authority to treat with Mr. Lindsay; and his mission 
proved as fruitless as those persons who were acquainted with the poUtical condition of 
China had anticipated. During the continuation of the opium war the dastardly cha- 
racter of the Chinese, and the degraded state to which they are reduced, by the absolute 
quality of the despotism to which they submit, were conspicuously exhibited in their 
treatment of the shipwrecked crew of the Kite transport-ship. Haring got possession 
of Mrs. Noble, widow of the master, they flogged her with a bamboo, put a chain round 
her neck, dragged her in this condition through the most public streets of several towns, 
and then put her into a criminal's cage, according to the infamous instructions of their 
laws. Captain Anstruther endured similar indignities, and many of the sailors were 
sutfocated in a " black'hole," where they were immured so long, that when released, the 
survivors appeared like so many skeletons in chains. 

But retribution was not long delayed ; that equilibrium, which is maintained by the 
laws of nature, finds a parallel in the balance sustained by the codes of justice and 
humanity. Captain Elliott in vain endeavoured to obtain the liberation of the prisoners : 
evasion and falsehood alone were employed by the Chinese in their negociations. The 
following year, after the capture of Ching-hai with terrible slaughter, Rear-Admiral 
Sir W. Parker proceeded to the attack of Ning-po. The strength of his fleet, which 
consisted of the Modeste, Columbine, Cruiser, Bentinck, with the steamei-s Sesostris, 
Queen, Nemesis, and Phlegethon, alarmed the mandarins; and their fears were so 
much increased by intelligence of the fall of Ching-hai, that, when our troops landed, 
they found only a deserted city. Sir Thomas Herbert, at the head of the naval brigade, 
advanced to the gates, which were immediately forced, and entered the market-place 
without firing a single shot; the band of the 18th, meanwhile encouraging our men, 
and delighting the astonished Chinese, who clung to their homes, with the old Irish air 
of Garry Owen. Thus were the injuries of Mrs. Noble, Captain Anstruther, and the 
imprisoned seamen, gloriously avenged by the gallantry of their countrymen. 

The other large towns, in the plain of Ning-po, offering no resistance, British supe- 
riority was acknowledged. Sir Henry Pottinger proceeded up the river, a distance of 
forty miles, to the city of Yuyaun, which the authorities had also abandoned ; but shallow 
water, and the interruption of a stone bridge of six arches, prevented his further 


Ning-po was rich m spoils; corn, silver, articles of the rarest manufacture, were 
carried away as trophies of the conquest of this ancient city, Where more than hall a 



million of inhabitants were located. The richest and most interesting of these emblems 
of victory is the « Great Bell," the finest specimen of refinement in taste and workman- 
ship ever brought into Europe. It is composed of tin, copper, and silver, is five feet in 
height by three in diameter, and adorned with bands and panels enriched by relievos 
and inscriptions. The figures are those of the Bhuddist priesthood, whose origin is 
known to be Hindoo ; and the inscriptions, according to the interpretation of that 
eminent Oriental scholar, Mr. Samuel Birch, of the British Museum, are in the Sanscrit 
character; they imply that the bell was cast for the temple of Shaou-ching, on the 
eighth moon of the nineteenth year of the reigning emperor, Taou-kwang, that is, in 
1839. This gorgeous trophy, with its scalloped mouth, and graceful contour, resembling 
the Campanula Tremuloides, is now preserved in the library of Buckingham Palace, as 
a memento of the war with China. 


" I see within the city-streets 
Life's most extreme estates ■ 
The gorgeous domes of palaces, 
.The prison's doleful grates." Mary Howitt. 

The sterility of the coast and country, in this part of Fo-kien, obliging the inha- 
bitants to have recourse to commerce for subsistence and employment, they very 
early and very wisely selected the port and the Isle of Amoy as a site for its asylum. 

Here is a vast natural basin, where a thousand vessels may ride in safety, sheltered, by an 
mtervening island, from the prevalent winds, and in water deep enough to float the 
largest ships. The excellence of this land-locked harbour soon brought hither the 
shipping of Siam and Cochin-China, and the English had a factory here, until the 
narrow policy of the empire obliged them to remove to Canton ; in fact, it was then the 
centre of Chinese maritime interests. Being now a free port, with a good harbour, and 
tlie inhabitants of necessity mariners, foreign trade revived more rapidly here than 
even at Ning-po, although the communication with the interior of China from the latter 
is so easy as to become a great auxiliary to expanding trade. Public buildings are 
numerous and spacious, but inelegant; few city embellishments are in progress, and 
enterprise and commercial spirit seem to have been completely checked by the prohi- 
bition against all foreign intercourse and the removal of the British factory. 

The great gate of Amoy is rather massive than magnificent; the dragon constitutes 
the most prominent part of its sculptured ornaments; sentences from the ethics of Con- 

VOL. I. 


fucius, the most valuable. A boat-shaped finial that crowns the summit, supports two 
fish, emblems more rational and appropriate than the national symbol, because the deep- 
water fishery off this coast, in the channel of Formosa, is amazingly productive, and the 
whole population of Amoy may be deemed maritime. A garrison, cannon-foundrv. and 
dock-yard, have been maintained here for many years ; and, when our fleet" appeared 
in the noble harbour of Emouy or Amoy, in 1841, they found the place strongly 
fortified, and defended by a considerable Tartar force. 

On the '25th of August 1841, the second northern expedition against the Celestials 
appeared off Amoy, and was received by a few rounds from the battery of Que-moy, 
which the Modeste returned. On the following da\', a mandarin, with a flag of truce, 
came from the city, to enquire the object of so formal a visit from so large a fleet, 
pretending to think that it must have been "trade;" he concluded his nonsensical 
address, however, by ordering our admiral to leave the port without delay, as the only 
means of avoiding inevitable destruction : to this advice, Sir Henry Pottinger replied, 
that compassion alone would induce him to receive the immediate surrender of Amoy 
and its fortifications, and retain them until the conclusion of a ti'eaty between the 
Queen of England and his Imperial Majesty. He consented also to tbe retirement of 
the Tartar officers and troops. The Tartars not unreasonably concluded that a stout 
resistance might be off^ed to our ships, from the great strength of their works and the 
number and calibre of their guns. One fort, twelve hundred 5 ards in length, mounted 
ninety heavy guns; there were many detached batteries, and a second fort, on Red Point, 
mounting forty-two of the heaviest Chinese ordnance. On Ko-long-soo, the key to 
Amoy, were seventy-six pieces of artillery, and the embrasures were protected all 
along by sand-bags; another fort was constructed on Cansoo Island, raking the passage 
on that side, and Huan-tong-san, or the inner harbour, was guarded by several 
batteries commanding the front shore. 

This apparently impregnable place was attacked with that deliberate gallantry which 
distinguishes the British navy ; as if no opposition existed, danger seems never to be 
estimated by our officers, in calculating the mode of attacking an enemy. The Modeste, 
Blanche, Druid, with the rest of the fleet, stood in for the cit}', exchanging occasional 
shots with the batteries that lined the passage, but not deigning to anchor until 
they came within a few yards of the great fortifications of Ko-long-soo. After a few 
broadsides, the marines, under Captain Ellis, and a detachment of the :26th, led on by 
Major Johnston, effected a safe landing, and pouring some half-dozen volleys amongst the 
enemy, put the whole garrison to flight. The Modeste now ran into the inner harbour, 
where she silenced all the batteries, and captured twenty-six deserted war-junks, mounting 
altogether one hundred and twenty-eight guns. At the long battery, a brave but brief 
resistance was offered, by the Tartars, to the combined fire of five of our men of war, 
but a detachment of our men landing and falling on the enemy's rear, many were bayo- 
netted at their guns; this gallant manoeuvre completed the panic that had commenced 
amongst the enemy, and nothing was to be seen but mounted mandarins and "brave 
Tartars" flying up the country, pursued by our marines and seamen. 


The OSS of ihe Chmese was very great, that of the British naval force amounted 
to one killed and seven wounded; the loss of our troops was very slight." The 
Chmese naval commander threw himself into the sea, and a great mandarin, who was 
closely pursued by our men, drew his sword and plunged it into his heart. No Svcee 
Silver was found here, but bullion, to the value of twenty thousand dollars, "was 


" They gave themselves up to a superstition, the lights of which mocked their 
own darkness." , 


Xo hebdomadal rest, or day of worship, belongs to Chinese idolatry, but feasts, or fes- 
tivals, or processions, are held occasionally-, in honour of some fabled monster, some 
contemptible superstition, or some great natural object. Funeral processions, as well 
as marriage ceremonies, are amongst their festivities; the feast of " the Dragon-boat" 
- IS perhaps the most silly of their exhibitions, and the feast of lanterns the most magni- 
ficent and universal. Each year is commenced by a day of public rejoicing, the festival 
being held on the first day of the first moon, which falls in the middle of February 
Labour is then suspended for forty days, visits of ceremony paid by the rich, and -aietv 
of all sorts indulged in by the poor. It is during this festive season, that the'most 
superstitious light a taper at the altar of some neighbouring temple, with which thev 
proceed directly towards their homes. If the light escape unextinguished, the votary 
IS to be prosperous; but if otherwise, his lot will be as the darkness around him. 

On the fifteenth of this moon, the feast of lanterns is celebrated ; it was instituted 
during the Tang dynasty, but did not find that general acceptance which it now enjoys, 
for three centuries later. Notwithstanding its resemblance to the Egyptian « feast of 
lights," its object is imperfectly understood, and it now appears to belittle more than an 
annual occasion for the exercise and display of the nation, in the manufacture of lanterns 
and the pyrotechnic art. On this occasion the whole empire is illuminated from one 
end to the other, as we are told by Herodotus, that Egypt used to be "from the cata- 
racts of the Nile to the Mediterranean." Every elevated point is decorated with 
a lantern ; every house, turret, temple, bridge, and boat, is adorned by these resplen- 
dent national emblems. Nor is the number, said to exceed two hundred millions, that is 
hung up at these saturnalia, more extraordinary, than the variety that is employed in 
their shape, design, and material. Birds, beasts, fishes, the whole animal kingdom, is 
made tributary to the occasion, by furnishing forms ; fancy supplies the designs painted 
on the transparent panels of each lustre- and, pearl-shell, mica, horn, glass, paper, cot- 


ton, silk, and other fabrics, are pressed into the service of the manufacturers. While 
these lights remain suspended from the house-tops, every subject of his Imperial majesty 
is also supplied with a hand-lantern, and in front of each dwelling fireworks continue to 
be displayed, until both purse and powder are exhausted. 

Visits are paid, by lengthened processions, to the different halls of Confucius, and 
temples of Fo; the actors in these pantomimes bearing an infinite variety of emblems, all, 
however, of the lantern family. Some lanterns resemble illuminated fish, continually 
spitting fire from their mouths ; others, the favourite dragon, from whose eyes flames of 
fire dart at intervals ; the figure of an animal suddenly bursts out into a terrible explo- 
sion, or rises majestically into a pyramid of flame. The effect in the darkness of night 
is highly amusing ; as the object is always elevated on the top of a pole, the air seems 
filled with birds, fish, and quadrupeds, passing and repassing in all directions. 

No people, perhaps, excel so much in the pyrotechnic art as the Celestials, of which 
their festivals afford the most convincing demonstration. During the late war, upon 
a temporary cessation of hostilities, the Cantonese treated their visitors with a specimen 
of their ability in this peculiar accomplishment, the following account of which is taken 
from a volume, modest in pretensions, but in execution meritorious.* 

" A representation was made of an immense vine arbour, which burned without con- 
suming ; the trunk, branches, leaves, and fruit, appeared in their natural colours, with, 
occasionally, butterflies flitting among their branches. To this succeeded an immense 
number of rockets, which formed themselves into innumerable stars, serpents, comets, 
and flying dragons. This magnificent display was followed by a grand discharge, on 
all sides, of a shower of fire, with which was intermixed variegated lanterns, some with sen- 
tences written on them, together with figures of fruit, flowers, and fans. Then ascended 
a display of columns, formed by rings of light, which lasted a few minutes, and was 
unequalled in brilliancy by any previous device. At last the grand finale took place ; the 
Chinese dragon, of an immense size, appeared in all his majesty, surrounded by ten 
thousand winged reptiles, standards and banners, when, in an instant, appeared, upon 
the back of the monster, the figure of the emperor in blue lights. These successively 
changed to yellow, and lastly to the most intense white. A deafening report now rent the 
air, while a green veil rose over the emperor, from the midst of which a volcano of 
rockets ascended." 

* Ten Thousand Things relating to China and the Chinese, by W. B, Langdon, Esq, 




Haste, bring them forth ! and raze 

From turret to foundation-stone, the keep 
Whence rose no song of praise 

From weary captives wont to doubt and weep. 

The Chkistian Captive. 

In many places the banks of the Canton or Pearl river are eminently picturesque, and 
the separation of its waters into numerous channels, while it perplexes the foreign 
navigator, is a source of endless gratification and real advantage to those acquainted 
with the different branches, and who dwell along their refreshing borders. iNIile after 
mile of the river littorale below Canton is clothed with the densest avid most brilliant 
foliage, save where population equally compact has hewn out a site for a settlement. 
There villages peep forth fi'om the thick dark shelter of an ancient grove, which at 
one time is in immediate contact with the grotesque dwellings, at another removed only 
by the area of an orchard, a garden, or a pleasure-ground. The noblest forest-trees that 
grow in China are intermixed with fruit-trees of rarity and richness ; amongst these are 
the peach, almond, plum, and many whose blossoms impart to the landscape a colouring 
that even Chinese dexterity often" fails to imitate effectuallj-. Orange, citron, and other 
varieties of Oriental fruits, luxuriate along the gently waving banks of these sunny 
waters, with a bloom and a beauty that art and cultivation in vain endeavour to attain. 

An islet that seems to float in the channel, called by Europeans the Macao Passage, 
serves as the foundation for the fortified pagoda of the Tai-wang-kow. A tower of 
four stories is enclosed by a strongly built curtain of granite stone, pierced with loop- 
holes, and finished with battlements. The primitive object of the Pagoda is not easily 
explicable on rational principles; but, in connection with the Chinese system of military 
discipline, and their art of war, admits of explanation. From the elevation of its turreted 
stories, watchmen can discover the approaching enemy, and give the word of command to 
the gunners within the ramparts. This plan, however, is subject to one inconvenience, 
namely, discovery of the fort itself by the foe, and, therefore, exposure of the Pagoda 
itself to the fire of an enemy's ship, which might throw down the whole building upoD 
the gunners at its foot. In this case, the gingalls, matchlocks, and men of all .nms, 
would in all probability be buried in the ruins. The area of the island, about an 
English acre, is dedicated to military works, with the exception of the space occupied 
by some lofty trees of the banyan species, whose shelter proves particularly grateful to 
the soldier sinking under the weight of his armour, and who would otherwise often be 
exhausted by the scorching rays of a tropical sun. The practice of embowering a fortress 

VOL. I. Z 


is not confined to Tai-wang-kow, it prevails universally in Chinese defensive posts^ engi- 
neers being of opinion, that the shade of a banyan tree will protect the soldier not only 
from the burning rays of the sun, but also from the red artillery of an enemy. And 
it was this principle of self-sufficiency or self-deception, so prevalent in this vast empire, 
that induced the erection of a pagoda in the middle of a battery, which, to be useful, 
should be concealed — the author of the design imagining that its haughty height 
would warn the enemy against too near an approach. 

Upon the first appearance of a rupture with China, in the opium war, this picturesque 
defence was occupied by a detachment of the royal marines, who kept entire possession of 
it until the resumption of hostilities on the 23rd of June, 1841. Although within reach 
of assistance from Canton, from which it is only two miles distant, no resistance was 
offered to our occupation ; yet our officers assert, that had they been attacked in turn, 
they could have repulsed the best eftbrts of the enemy to dislodge them. As a toll- 
house or watch-tower, the Tai-wang is valuable, and in other hands, by its means, the 
approach of an enemy to Canton might be successfully impeded. When our troops 
surprised it, a communication was formed with both banks of the river by rafts that 
completely obstructed the passages. Each flotilla, or rather section of the pontoon, 
consisted of ten layers of timber, ten feet square, strongly bound together with iron 
bolts, and anchored securely at each corner. There was little ingenuity in the design ; 
and when our troops entered the fort, and occupied it, the control of the clumsy impedi- 
ment passed into their hands, to the prejudice of its authors. 

It was to have been hoped that the lesson given to the Chinese so recently as 1843 
would have sufficed to instil into their minds a wholesome fear of the power of Britain ; 
but, unhappily, the attempts of the Chinese authorities to evade the terms of the treaty 
entered into on the conclusion of the opium war, and the seizure of a vessel while 
sailing under English colours, have led to a renewal of hostilities, which, it is to be 
hoped, will not cease until a permanent peace has been established. 



Cards were superfluous here, with all the tricks 
That idleness has ever yet contrived, 
To fill the void of an unfurnished brain, 
To palliate dulness, and give time a shove. 


The position which females occupy in society may be fairly taken as a test of 
civilization, in each respective nation; wherever the moral and intellectual powers of 
the gentler sex are held in estimation, that country will be found to enjoy such laws as 
promote the happiness of the people ; wherever personal charms constitute the only 
ground of love or admiration, as in many Asiatic governments, there tyranny and slavery 
prevail extensively. Neither do the lavish gifts of nature secure a liappy home to theii 
possessor, or subdue the fierce spirit of her absolute lord ; on the contrary, surpassing 
beauty, in unchristian climes, rivets the chains of slavery more firmly, elevates the harem- 
walls to a more hopeless height, excludes the society of friends or companions, and shuts 
in the luckless victim from the world for ever. And while submission to the caprice of 
a tyrant is the captive's wisest policy, her sole remaining lot, even this great sacrifice 
does not mitigate the ferocity of his nature, or the rudeness of his habits, for often are 
these helpless habitants of the Oriental harem immolated, to allay a groundless jealousy, 
or make room for a more favoured rival; and oftener still are the most dreadful assassi- 
nations perpetrated by tyrants, whose uncontrollable passions are inflamed by the bare 
suspicion of infidelity. Hence it follows, that where the softer sex are retained in a 
state of bondage, and denied participation in social duties and social intercourse, there 
the habits of the people are necessarily rude — there civilization is inevitably checked in 
its humanizing progress. 

A species of middle state, between rudeness and civilization, is the portion of a 
Chinese lady of quality. Inhumanly deprived of the use of her limbs, whenever she 
desires to go abroad she is subject to a species of concealment in a close sedan, similar 
to the araba of Mohammedan odaliques: and so strictly is this incognito observed, that 
less wealthy persons keep covered wheelbarrows for their captiv? wives — not to prevent 
the winds of heaven from visiting them too roughlj^, but to deprive them of the homage 
of earthly eyes. Notwithstanding all this jealous care, it is remarkable that females in 
the humbler ranks are treated with little respect : one class are the flowers of the garden, 
the other of the forest ; one are fed, and lodged, and cherished, with all the care and 
cost and jealousy that belong to the conservatory — the other left to waste their sweetness 


on the desert air, or else spurned soon after by the rude hand that plucked them. Often 
do we see the poor man's wife labouring in the fields of rice, the farm of cotton, the 
nurseries of silk, her infant being safely tied upon her back, while her husband is 
engaged in the excitements of smoking or of gambling. 

There is but owe supreme mistress of a mandarin's palace, and to her authority all 
others of her sex, within the limits of the pavilion, must acknowledge entire submission. 
To the disgrace of this ancient empire, however, polygamy does exist here, although in 
a form more mitigated than in the Turkish dominions. Amongst the graceful cabinets 
counted along with the ladies' apartments, there is usually one arranged as a chapel oi 
worship, or a hall of ancestors. In general, a figure of Tien-sing, the Queen of Heaven, 
is placed in a niche at the end, various decorations being introduced all around; and 
a splendid curtain of embroidered silk falling in front, secures retirement and perfect 
seclusion for the votaries who may be disposed to enter and to worship. Having no 
sabbath, either for the purposes of religion or of rest, the Chinese feel a secret conso- 
lation in these domestic chapels, where they pour forth the real sentiments of their souls, 
before that God whose existence their innate ideas prove, but of whose nature and pro- 
perties they still are ignorant. With the inconsistency that seems to characterize all 
Chinese customs, and distinguish them from those of other nations, it is in front of this 
very capellu, and in the very presence of their little golden protectress, that the ladies of 
every family uniformly seat themselves, to indulge in the amusement of card-playing. 
Denied so many other species of social enjoyment, none but the most rigid and fas- 
tidious could object to their indulgence in this ancient game — but who can be uncon- 
scious of the glaring contradiction which the choice of a playing-room discloses ? 

The variety of games known in China is endless ; and many of them require consider- 
able dexterity. In shape, the cards are longer and naa-rower than those in use amongst 
Europeans, and a pack includes a much larger number. When cards have lost their power 
of pleasing, the time is beguiled by the introduction of tobacco. Females, from the tender 
age of eight years, are initiated in this disgusting habit; and a little silken reticule is gene- 
rally attached to every lady's dress, to hold a pipe and a supply of tobacco. But these, and 
even less graceful employments, are pardonable, when the monotonous nature of their life 
of seclusion is remembered. Although less suspected, less enslaved, less degraded than 
Turkish females, yet the formality to which Chinese ladies are doomed is eminently tedious. 
Children, chief solace of a mother's retired and useful life, are in China placed under 
laws that outrage the best feelings of human nature. Female infants may be destroyed 
at the pleasure of the father — over children of the other sex, the law gives the parent 
absolute power ; hence, at the age of ten years, the boy is removed finally from the 
mother's surveillance, nor is he permitted after to visit the pavilion in which he was 
born — the scene in which his helplessness- first found that care which a mother only 
knows how to bestow. Cut off, by a hateful code of regulations, from the opportunity 
of fulfilling her legitimate trust, the Chinese wife and mother is necessitated to have 
recourse to those means of filling up the great void in life which these privations have 
created. Painting, embroidery, the care of an aviary, the recreations of the garden and 


the pleasure grounds, occasional appeals to the little image that presides over the 
domestic altar, fond attentions to her children while they are permitted to remain with 
her, the game of chess when the number of fair captives is limited to two, but, when 
increased beyond that amount, the more popular amusement of cards, are called to the 
relief of those pangs which disappointments produce — those soitows by which separation 
from the world is so often accompanied. 



Do but stand upon the foaming shore, 

The cliiding billows seem to pelt the clouds ; 

The wind-shak'd surge, with high, and monstrous main, 

Seems to cast water on the burning bear, 

And quench the guards of the ever-fixed pole : 

I never did such molestation view 

On the enchafed flood. 


In a previous description of the Great Wall of China,* the particular view here 
given is alluded to and described. There the only genuine drawings of this extra- 
ordinary work of art, that have -ever been brought to Europe, are distinctly spoken of, 
and, from that description, the peculiarities of the present, the most interesting because 
the least known and most authentic, may be gathered. Our readers are aware, from 
a comparison of the ponderous volumes themselves, which detail the circumstances of the 
embassy, with the published notes of Lord Jocelyn, that Lord Macartney was misled 
as to the exact terminus of the Wen-li-tchang-tching; and, the accompanying illustra- 
tion, taken by a draughtsman attached to one of the exploring expeditions, that 
visited the embouchure of the Pei-ho, previous to the war with China, not only 
places the fact beyond doubt, but gives the real position of the sea-extremity of the 
wall. From the deck of the war-steamer that navigated this savage sea, the Trciitor's 
Gate was distinctly seen, midway between the mountains and the shore ; and this 
gratifying discovery is auxiliary to the settlement of a disputed point in Tartar 

The rude fierce aspect of the mountains, with their broken breasts and shattered 
pinnacles, is in accurate keeping with the stern character of the stormy sea that seems 
eternally struggling to approach their feet. Navigation here, by well-found barks, 
would not be attended with more than the common dangers of the sea; but with such 
clumsj, ill-constructed vessels as the trading junk, the lottery of a sailor's life is filled 

* Ante, p. 1 7. 
VOL. I. 2 A 


with blanks. Exposed by their great height above the water, their sides invite the 
hurricane to invade them ; and, aided by the incompetence of the mariners, the 
elements obtain an easy victory. When a vessel leaves a port in the Gulf of Pe-che-li, 
it is usually concluded that her loss or her return is about equally probable ; so that if 
fortune favour her, a general rejoicing takes place amongst the owners of .the cargo 
and the relatives of the crew, for an event so prosperous. It has been concluded, upon 
the most authentic information, that ten thousand mariners from the port of the Pei-lio 
perish annually in this boisterous gulf. 

Nor is this misfortune viewed with indifference by the natives ; they use increased 
energies in giving strength to their sails of bamboo cloth ; they erect still stronger 
bamboo masts; they arch over their decks and their holds with more impenetrable 
bamboo matting; and they pay the utmost reverence to the sanctity of the magnetic 
needle. Believing that a divine influence dwells within the compass, they erect 
a small altar behind it, on the deck, and there a spiral taper, composed of wax, tallow, 
and sandal-wood, is kept continually burning. The holy flame is doubly useful ; it 
ministers to the pious intentions of the crew, and, by the successive disappearance of 
its twelve equal divisions, marks just so many hours of fleeting time. But it is in vain 
that the childish industry of this ancient people, and still more vain that their idle 
superstitions, are employed to contend with or conquer the merciless whirlwinds that 
agitate the waters of this northern gulf. " Were it possible to blow ten thousand 
trumpets, and beat as many drums, on the forecastle of an Indiaman, in the height of 
a ta-fung, neither the sound of the one nor the other would be heard by a person on 
the quarter-deck of the same vessel." 

Of all the winds that seem to conspire against human labour, and would almost 
despoil nature herself of her fairest products, the typhoon is the most terrific in 
northern latitudes. The Egyptians recognized a wind which they called ti/phon ; the 
Greeks called a particular species of hurricane, rvipwv, either from the giant of their 
mythology, or from a participle of a verb which signifies " to swell with pride, or power, or 
greatness ;" and the Chinese term, ta-fung, is not unaualogous, for it means great ivind. 
The prognostics of a typhoon are, the swelling of the waters, and their rolling, with 
a majestic volume, in upon the shore. For several hours previous to its incidence, the 
mercury falls slowly in the barometer, and continues to descend during its prevalence, 
but, when the rage of the elements begins to abate, it ascends steadily, and more 
rapidly than it fell. Instinct being often more provident than reason, the sea-birds are 
observed to become unquiet, rising to the skies, and then' wheeling and circling and 
screaming with more than wonted wildness ; perhaps they perceive the influence of the 
dusky cloud that generally appears in the horizon, as if driven forward by the advancing 
tempest. The magnitude of the mischief done to shipping may be estimated by 
a comparison with the desti action committed on land, and a recollection of the velocity 
at which the angry ele^ments travel under such circumstances. In northern latituaes, 
or temperate climes, the storm moves at the rate of sixty feet in a second of time ; in 
the torrid zones it proceeds often with five times that velocity. Corn, rice, vines, canes. 


are scattered as chaff; houses are unroofed, forests torn up, whole towns inundated, 
ships carried in upon the quays and streets, and there deserted by the waters. Having 
raged for about thirty hours, the typhoon subsides, accompanied in its dying moments 
by repeated peals of the loudest thunder, and innumerable flashes of vivid lightning. 

These dreadful visitations occur more frequently during the changes, than at the 
full of the moon ; and prevail seldom lower than 10° of north latitude. They are felt as 
far east as 130° of longitude, and are most violent during the south-west monsoon, espe- 
cially in the month of July. Though dreadful at all times, and blowing from all points 
of the compass, the terrors of the typhoon are heightened, and its destructive powers con- 
siderably augmented, when it happens to blow in the same direction with the monsoon. 



For ever glideth on that lovely river : 

Laden with early WTeaths the creepers txvine, 

While like the arrows from a royal quiver, 
Golden the glaring sunbeams o'er them shine. 

It is remarkable that people in a primitive state (and notwithstanding their superiority in 
handicraft, the Chinese do not rise much higher in the scale of nations) possess the truest 
and most admirable ideas of the picturesque. Presumption seems to be the charac- 
teristic of modern taste; agreeable and comfortable associations, of that which prevailed 
in the olden time. Our abbeys and convents are placed beside the running stream, 
or on the banks of a navigable river, sheltered from the rude blasts of winter by sur- 
rounding forests or impending hills. In all ancient countries, and where the highest 
degrees of civilization are unknown, domestic architecture is not only suited to the 
natural features of the landscape, but embosomed recesses, deep and ' densely-wooded 
dingles, valleys fertile and well watered, the romantic banks of some rapid but available 
river, a spot where business and beauty are combined, was uniformly selected as the 
abode, either of the individual or the community. This grateful and fascinating taste 
has withered into contempt before the growth of civilization, whose great glory is to 
level mountains, drain lakes, reclaim the barren wastes, and triumph over nature by 
erecting on those very sites which she had made the most repulsive, the very noblest 
works of art 

An instinctive love of the picturesque, a prerogative of the mountaineer in all parts 
of the world, is peculiarly the Chinaman's inheritance; and, in the province of Kiang-nan, 
enriched and adorned by a majestic river, they have indulged their taste for landscape 


scenery in a manner and degree calculated to raise our estimation of their intellectual 
qualities. For some miles above and below the Shih-Mun, the river is enclosed between 
banks abrupt, rocky, but interspersed with patches and plateaus of productive land. The 
country behind is of a totally contrary character ; there a wide-spread morass exists, 
difficult of drainage from the rocky ridges that form tlie river's bed, through which a 
passage for the surplus waters of the fens can scarce be found. Abandoning this moor to 
the wild tenants of the earth and skies, the population have flocked to the water's edge, 
and possessed themselves of the projecting ledges at the mountain's foot, the retiring 
bays at their sheltered base, or the vicinity of some dark pool, whose scaly treasures repay 
the fisherman for his constant toil. As the junks descend the river the velocity of the 
current increases, until its maximum is attained between the herculean pillars of the 
Rock-gates. There the navigation requires much caution, and often the most vigilant, 
confounded by the suddenness with which the two high pinnacles seem to close over 
him, and embrace the azure vault of heaven, mistake their distance, and are carried 
against the rocks. In the surrounding district, limestone prevails very generally, but 
on the river's side it appears to recline on a species of breccia: it would not be untrue 
to characterize the stone in the immediate vicinity of the Shih-Mun as marble, although 
the natives do not place any value on it for decorative purposes, neither do they burn it 
into lime. ^ 

On either side, and just below the rude rocky pillars that contract the passage, small 
coves, of great depth and perfect shelter, afford safe wharfage for merchant-vessels ; 
and there the trading junk is generally seen moored to the natural quay, the steadfast 
cliff; the contracted channel giving a violent and powerful efficacy to the volume of 
waters, which have consequently worked an immense depth here for their transit. In 
this deep basin, multitudes of fish collect, and render their capture, by trained fishing- 
birds, an achievement both easy and profitable. The privilege of fishing between the 
Rock-gates is rented at a very high price from the local government. 

These lofty peaks, that pierce the clouds, derive the epithet "Shih-Mun" from the 
termination of a magnificent scene, so inclined to the direct view of the Rock-gates as to 
be incapable of introduction in the illustration. Its beauties, its solemnities, its horrors, 
have been described in bold and highly coloured language by native poets and tourists; 
nor has national prejudice, in this instance, outstepped the limits of veracity. Entering 
a deep, dark, close ravine, the opposite sides of which attain at least a thousand feet in 
height, with an intervening space of comparative insignificance, the* traveller proceeds ' 
along his gloomy way, unable to distinguish, save by the occasional sparkling and 
floating foam, the torrent that tumbles and roars in the abyss below him. Having 
reached the length of a li, or more, he enters " the valley of mist,'' where he becomes 
enveloped in a thick vapour, filling the entire gulf which the torrent has hollowed out 
from the mountain's bosom by the labour of four thousand years ; and, if he be not 
deterred by the humidity of the strange atmosphere, but persevere to the end, in a 
grand amphitheatre of rocks he will behold the origin of the dewy drjipery that hangs 
over and around him — a splendid cataract, some hundred feet in height, falling over the 


FEB 1 7 1993